LIVERMORE -- A Hayward police officer suspected of sexually abusing several girls at a Livermore after-school program over a nine-year period was arrested on Saturday, authorities said.

Richard Scott McLeod, 38, was arrested at the Livermore Police Department about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, following an investigation into allegations he sexually abused girls in their early teens while working as a teacher for Kid Zone. The after-school program for middle-school children is run by the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District.

Allegations recently surfaced that McLeod, who worked as the lead coordinator for the program from 1992 to 2007, had engaged in oral sex, sexual intercourse and inappropriate touching of multiple victims enrolled in the program. The abuse began in 1998 and went on until he resigned from the program to join the Hayward Police Department nine years later, police said.

Richard McLeod, 38, is accused of sexually abusing girls ages of 12-14 while working as an after-school coordinator in Livermore between 1998 and 2007.
Richard McLeod, 38, is accused of sexually abusing girls ages of 12-14 while working as an after-school coordinator in Livermore between 1998 and 2007. (Livermore Police Department)

"He befriended multiple females between the ages of 12 and 14 and engaged in various forms of sexual abuse," Officer Steve Goard said. "And this abuse went into the girls' high school years."

One of McLeod's alleged victims came forward in early 2013, Goard said, prompting a lengthy investigation that uncovered several others who may have been victimized by the Livermore resident and Hayward police officer.

Hayward police are cooperating with the investigation, Goard said. "It is worth noting that they have been investigating (McLeod) for multiple months now and have not found anything to suggest he has committed any abuse while employed as a police officer."

While McLeod was placed on leave by Hayward police, it was not immediately known if he was suspended without pay. A spokesman for Hayward police could not immediately be reached for comment.

McLeod was arrested on suspicion of engaging in three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with a child under the age of 14, lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, and lewd and lascivious acts with a child age 14 or 15. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail in lieu of $750,000 bail.

Anyone with information about the ongoing investigation may contact Livermore police at 925-294-7531.

Contact Erin Ivie at eivie@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.