ASOTIN CO., Wash. - An Asotin County Superior Court judge accused of criminal sexual misconduct appeared in court Thursday morning for a bond hearing.
Scott D. Gallina was arrested by the Washington State Patrol on Wednesday. He was taken into custody at the courthouse on suspicion of second degree felony rape, second degree assault and indecent liberties.
Gallina's bond was set at $50,000, which Asotin Co. officials assume he will make.
The Asotin County Sheriff's Office decided Gallina should be held in the Walla Walla County jail overnight due to safety concerns. He was transported back to Asotin County early Thursday morning.
Background on the charges
According to the WSP detective's report, "On April 1, Washington State Patrol's Criminal Investigative Unit received information pertaining to allegations of multiple sex offenses occurring within the Asotin County Courthouse in Asotin, Washington."
Mutiple reports from courthouse staff stated that Gallina had harassed, assaulted and raped personnel while working at the courthouse.
During the investigation, all of the victims were found to be women.
Based on interviews with the victims, it was determined that some incidents involving Gallina occurred several years ago. Some dated back to 2014 when he was first appointed to the bench.
Due to the high number of incidents that allegedly occurred involving Gallina, the victims had difficulty determining the exact dates of many of the incidents.
"With the exception of one of the women interviewed, there was no information discovered to suggest any of the victims/witnesses interviewed initiated any sexual behavior with Gallina or had a consensual sexual relationship with Gallina," court documents state.
Alleged incidents involving the accused
According to the first victim that was interviewed, Gallina began making inappropriate comments about one month after he started working at the courthouse. She claimed he would frequently call her into his chambers and make comments about her breasts and clothing. The victim said Gallina would give her hugs and rub her shoulders on a routine basis (mainly after approaching from behind) without invitation and without her consent.
The victim told investigators Gallina's actions progressed to an incident in which he removed some of her clothing and touched her chest inappropriately. According to court documents, another similar incident occurred in which he asked her to lift her shirt up. When she didn't, he tore her blouse.
In yet another incident, Gallina reportedly pushed her from behind, bent her over a desk and proceeded to grind on her from behind.
According to court documents, multiple other incidents involved Gallina taking her clothes off, saying inappropriate things, kissing her without her consent, and even biting her and breaking her skin.
In the most severe incident of them all, Gallina allegedly choked the victim and touched her between the legs during a trial recess in his chambers.
Eventually, the victim told a co-worker and the incidents were reported and investigated by the county's insurer. The victim said that she had not wanted to say anything before becuase she was afraid of losing her job.
In total, nine women reported that they had all had been victims in similar incidents involving inappropriate touching and comments, and even acts of assault from the accused.
What happens next
The case is being handled by the Washington Attorney General's Office. WSP was asked to step in when alerted to the case by Asotin County on March 29.
Gallina is being represented by Spokane attorney Carl Orescovich. Judge Michael Price of Spokane is presiding over the case.
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