Judge Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Court Employee
Judge Scott Gallina of Washington was arrested and charged with rape and other sexual crimes.
According to reports, Gallina sexually assaulted a court employee in his chambers. In one incident, he allegedly approached her from behind, put her in a choke hold, and penetrated her with his fingers.
Gallina denies the allegations, but other women also said he subjected them to unwanted sexual behavior. Some adopted a buddy system so that nobody would be alone with him in chambers.
Gallina, a judge of the Hells Canyon Circuit based in Asotin, was arrested at the courthouse. He did not have far to go for his first appearance in the criminal case.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Gallina was charged with second-degree rape, fourth-degree assault and indecent liberties. The court set bail at $50,000, issued a protective order for one victim, and ordered Gallina to surrender his keys to the courthouse.
Carl Oreskovich, who is representing the judge, said they will fight the charges. Gallina is "looking forward to getting into the courtroom," he said. "It's just incredulous [sic] that during a courtroom break when there are people in the courtroom and staff that come and go, that numerous incidents are alleged to have occurred in judge's chambers," the defense attorney said.
The main charges involve a woman who began working at the courthouse in May 2017. She told investigators that she didn't report Gallina because she feared losing her job, according to the charging papers in the case.
A Buddy System
When Galllina called her into chambers, she said, he always locked the door. He began with inappropriate comments, hugs, and shoulder rubs. It progressed to groping, she alleged, and one time he ripped her blouse. Another time, he fondled her breasts and bit her. When he removed his pants, she ran from the room. She was not the only victim of sexual misconduct, police reported. Eleven other women said Gallina made inappropriate comments and touched them without their consent.
That's about enough for a jury.
- Superior Court Judge Busted at the Courthouse on Suspicion of Rape and Assault (The Bellingham Herald)
- What in the World is Going on at the Washington Bar? (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- This Judge Earned 'Your Honor' (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)