Washington AG seeks more sex crime charges against judge

LEWISTON, Idaho — The Washington state attorney general’s office wants to file more sex crime charges against a judge because investigators say they’ve identified a third victim.

The Lewiston Tribune reports Scott D. Gallina, an Asotin County Superior Court judge, has already been charged with second-degree rape, indecent liberties and fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation.

The Attorney General’s Office now wants to file additional fourth-degree assault charges, after a woman told Washington State Police investigators that Gallina groped her buttocks and made inappropriate comments to her.

Several women have reported Gallina subjected them to workplace sexual misconduct from the time he was appointed to the bench in 2014 until the investigation was launched this spring. Investigators said in some cases the women couldn’t remember details and in others, the two-year statute of limitations for sexual assault charges had already passed.

Gallina was arrested April 10. He has pleaded not guilty.

According to a probable cause statement filed with the court, prosecutors believe Gallina began harassing one of the courthouse employees shortly after she began working there in 2017. That woman told investigators that Gallina would call her into his chambers and make sure the door was locked before making inappropriate comments, hugging her and rubbing her shoulders without consent. The woman said he removed her clothes and touched her, and she said at one point the judge put her in a chokehold and sexually assaulted her.

Another woman told investigators that Gallina made sexual comments to her and on one occasion forcefully bent her over the end of his desk and on another forced her against a wall and kissed her on the neck.

A pretrial hearing is set for Aug. 23.

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