Superior Court Judge Scott Gallina allegedly harassed victim in chambers over two-year period, in Washington County, Oregon
Court documents say the 55-year-old judge progressed from non-consensual hugs to sexual assault in his chambers at Asotin County courthouse in May 2017
After the assault judge Gallina allegedly told her he ‘could not help it because he liked beautiful women’
Gallina allegedly put the victim into a choke hold and sexually assaulted her, only stopping when someone knocked on the door of his chambers at Asotin County courthouse
Once told the victim he ‘could not help it because he liked beautiful women’
Nine women reported criminal assault with sexual motivation, but some happened outside of the two-year statute of limitation for a gross misdemeanor
AG’s office filed formal charges against Judge Scott Gallina for second-degree rape, fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation and indecent liberties
His lawyer said he denied the allegations and would enter a not guilty plea
A sexual assault protective order for one of the survivors was issued and Judge Gallina ordered to turn in his keys to the courthouse
Gallina posted $50,000 bail Thursday
Judge Scott Gallina is accused of raping and assaulting a member of staff at the courthouse in Washington where he worked, then justified his behavior by claiming he could.nt help himself
A judge in Washington has been arrested for raping and assaulting a member of staff in the courthouse where he worked.
Scott D. Gallina, a Superior Court judge in Washington’s Asotin, Columbia and Garfield counties, was taken into custody by Washington State Patrol in Asotin County, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement.
Judge Gallina, 55, was arrested Wednesday in the courthouse for second-degree rape, fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation and indecent liberties, The Oregonian reports
Court documents say that when the victim confronted Gallina about his behaviour he told her he ‘could not help it because he liked beautiful women’.
Gallina reportedly started inappropriately touching the victim in his chambers at the Asotin County Courthouse a month after she started working there.
Ensuring the door was always locked after she entered the room, Gallina allegedly began by hugging and giving shoulder rubs without her consent in May 2017.
It is claimed he then progressed to unzipping her clothing and fondling her breasts, and grinding himself against her.
The woman told police that Gallina put her into a choke hold and sexually assaulted her with his fingers, only stopping when someone knocked on the door.
She told investigators all of the incidents over a two-year period occurred in the judge’s chambers, and often happened during a courtroom break.
The woman said she did not report the incidents before because she was scared of losing her job, and worried that no one would believe her as Gallina was a superior court judge and she was not, court documents say.
She eventually told a coworker, who told the police about the assaults.
Nine women working at the courthouse were interviewed, and all reported ‘varying degrees of sexual misconduct’ by Gallina, ranging from sexually inappropriate comments to touching.
Gallina began harassing and sexually assaulting one Asotin County Courthouse employee shortly after the person starting working there in May 2017 and it continued until Gallina’s arrest, according to probable cause documents.
All the charges are related to that employee although investigators interviewed a total of nine courthouse employees who reported varying degrees of sexual misconduct by Gallina over several years, documents said.
Several women reported criminal assault with sexual motivation but could not remember when it had happened, and others reported conduct that had happened outside of the two-year statute of limitation for a gross misdemeanor.
Some of the women said they feared the judge and some said they had developed a safety plan that involved keeping each other from being alone with him, according to documents.
One employee also claimed she avoided applying for a promotion at the courthouse because it would have meant working more closely with Gallina.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued the following statement: ‘Today, my office filed formal charges against Judge Scott Gallina for second-degree rape, fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation and indecent liberties.
‘The court set $50,000 bail, issued a sexual assault protective order for one of the survivors, and ordered Judge Gallina to turn in his keys to the courthouse.
Gallina posted bail yesterday, according to the Lewiston Tribune.
His attorney, Carl Oreskovich, told AP he denied the allegations and would enter a not guilty plea.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Gallina to the Superior Court bench in Asotin, Garfield and Columbia counties in 2014 when a predecessor retired. He was elected to a four-year term in 2016.