Hayward cop accused of sexually abusing kids

September 30, 2013 10:33:13 PM PDT
A Hayward police officer who is a former teacher is facing charges that he sexually abused children in his care.

Livermore investigators say it all happened before 2007, before Richard McLeod became a Hayward police officer. McLeod is accused of sexually abusing several 12-14-year-old girls over a nine year period, when he worked as a teacher in an afterschool program at a Livermore middle school.

"Nothing was forced or anything like that," Livermore Police Officer Steve Goard said. "It was built on being a friend, being a mentor, 'I'll take care of you.' And then there as some fondness with these young girls who thought, 'Here's an adult male who's giving me a lot of attention.'"

McLeod, 38, worked as a teacher and coordinator at the Kids Zone after school program at Christensen Middle School. The accusations, including sexual intercourse, span from 1998 to 2007 when McLeod left to become a Hayward police officer.

"We'll see what the outcome of the police investigation is," Livermore Area Recreation and Park District General Manager Tim Barry said. "We already do a lot with our employees, background checks, fingerprinting, training, which is why we have such a good record to date."

Investigators say there's no indication McLeod continued the abuse after he became a Hayward police officer.

McLeod is in the Santa Rita Jail on $750,000 bail.