PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A youth league baseball coach who admitted to targeting and molesting children since the late 1980s is going to prison for 25 years.

WATCH VIDEO: Former youth league coach sentenced for child molestation

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jay R. Adleman sentenced Richard Gallegos Friday morning, after listening to impact statements from victims and their family members.

[WATCH: Victims speak before youth baseball coach sentenced for child molestation]

"You molested me. I wasn't the first and I wasn't the last one. What kind of a despicable monster steals the innocence of a child for self-gratification?" said one victim.

"You, Rick, are an abuser. You're a molester and you are a pedophile," said that victim's wife.

"We found out that Rick molested a victim in the '80s, one in the '90s, two in the 2000s and only God and Rick know how many other victims there are out there," said the father of one of the victims.

The impact statements paint a picture of a man who claimed to be well-connected in the baseball world, and who used those claims to gain access to young boys.

Gallegos allegedly told players and their family members in Ahwatukee that he had a close relationship with former ASU baseball coach Pat Murphy, that he had helped launch the career of Dustin Pedroia, who plays for the Boston Red Sox, and that he, himself, was a former minor league player who owned a private jet. None of those claims turned out to be true.

"I was so brainwashed to believe that Rick was essentially the savior, the guy that was going to get me to my ultimate dream of Major League Baseball," said the victim whose decision to come forward led to Gallegos' arrest. But the abuse happened years ago, from 2009-2011.

"The decision process was a very long thing. It took me eight-plus years to finally decide that this is something that I need to do," he said.

"Since I came forward, I have been so much happier in life. I've developed some amazing friendships. I've been so much happier with my school. I'm more motivated. I'm more interested in my own health and more interested in just everything," he said.

Morgan Loew's hard-hitting investigations can be seen weekdays on CBS 5 News at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
 
 


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(5) comments

Wearenotperfect

Creepers come in all shapes, colors and nationalities so stop blaming the world for the actions of the few nutsplashes!

NavyJR

Society doesn't "cause" these predators, but it sure goes out of its way to protect their rights and forgets the rights of KIDS victimized by them to have a safe life, not a life sentence to PTSD and all that goes with it! The predators have free will to choose to yield to that temptation or not; same as everyone else faced with a temptation to any sin. That they choose to yield speaks about THEIR lack of character; but that courts, law enforcement and prisons go out of their ways to protect them speaks to a misguided society; their victims weren't protected and are then on their own, essentially!

MyOwnMind

And right there you have it. More jumping on the bandwagon. You thought he was going to make you rich and famous so you let him diddle with you. Pathetic.

Djamz

MyOwnMind are you really trying to put blame on the victims. You’re the one who’s pathetic

NavyJR

IF the victim is an adult or near enough to know that's wrong and goes ahead it's a shared accountability; just like those in Hollywood who submit to the "casting couch" to get a role or job. A CHILD in an innocent victim whose parents and other adults SHOULD be protecting from such predators, not protecting the predators from the consequences of their predatory behaviors.

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