A Hayward police officer was arrested this weekend on several counts of child molestation dating back more than a decade ago when he worked with middle school children at an after-school program.
Officer Steve Goard said in a statement Monday that detectives took Richard Scott McLeod, 38, into custody on Saturday on charges stemming from accusations that allegedly occurred between 1998 and 2007. During the last five years of that time span, McLeod, who now lives in Livermore, was the lead teacher at the Kid Zone, an after-school program for middle schoolers.
Even though the crime allegedly happened years ago, police say they just learned about the crime allegation after a victim came forward earlier this year.
McLeod was arrested on three counts of “lewd and lascivious” acts with girls between 12 and 14 years old.
"We originally got the statement from one victim. We were able to corroborate what she told us, and we’ve since contacted other victims, and we have interviewed those victims," Goard said.
Police said the victims claim he abused multiple girls at several different middle and elementary schools in Livermore and that the abuse took place on school grounds.
For the most part, the statute of limitations in California allows lewd and lascivious prosecutions to go forward at any time as long as the victim was younger than 18 at the time of the offense and it's before the victim turns 28.
McLeod's personal defense attorney couldn’t be immediately located for comment.
Lawyer Michael Rains represents the Hayward police officers association. Rains said McLeod has a has a good reputation in the department. He added that he "is known for being a sound, ethical police officer. It’s never come to my attention that he’s had any issues in the past."
At this time, Goard said the crimes being investigated occurred before McLeod became a police officer. Still, Hayward police have put McLeod on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
He is being held on $750,000 bail at the Santa Rita jail. His first court appearance is set for Tuesday.
If anyone has information about this case, they are encouraged to call the Livermore Police Department at (925) 294-7531.