Judges are the people placed on a bench to deliver blind justice but at the same time are supposed to be held to the highest standard by the public in regards to upholding the law themselves. Sure, they are human thus deviant behavior such as DUIs are harmful to their career but what if they collude with other government officials against citizens or get kick backs from prisons like “Kids for Cash” or are sexual predators? How do they get away with it and why do complaints for blatant misbehavior or misuse of office go unchecked?
In the case of Superior Court Judge Scott Gallina reports of sexual harassment went unchecked. According to court documents one woman told investigators:
I filed an online report to a judicial oversight entity but nothing ever happened.One of Nine Witnesses
Today, Judge Scott Gallina was taken into custody by the Washington State Patrol … I have accepted a request from the Asotin County Prosecutor to handle the case. We are reviewing the investigation and we expect to have a decision on possible criminal charges tomorrow (Thursday, April 11). My office has been and will continue to work closely with the State Patrol to investigate the allegations.Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Gallina faces three charges:
- second degree rape;
- indecent liberties (by forcible compulsion);
- fourth degree assault with sexual motivation.
An internal investigation uncovered that there was an informal “safety plan” by the women at the courthouse. Nine women so far have been indentified in initial investigation and more are expected to be added to that list. The women had this action plan in place to ensure that no woman was left alone with Gallina . The women knew that reporting his behavior or coming forward with allegations would jeopardize their safety and career because of his authority.
The initial investigation was done by Asotin County Sheriff’s Office. They then turned the case over to Washington State Patrol. Court Documents indicate that there was an increase in frequency of such incidents and with more aggressive tactics after Gallina was appointed Superior Court Judge by Democratic 2020 candidate Gov. Jay Inslee.
Scott’s diverse background of legal experience more than meets the expectations for this position, and he goes above and beyond the expectations for what a public servant should be. I look forward to Scott’s service on the bench, and know he will carry out his new role with honor and integrity.Governor Jay Inslee
Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Gallina to the Hells Canyon Circuit Supreme Court, which represents Asotin, Garfield and Columbia counties when Judge Acey retired. Judge Gallina has been re-elected TWICE since his appointment.
Detectives with the WA State Patrol say 9 women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Asotin County Superior Court judge Scott Gallina. Gallina appeared in court today, where the presiding judge said Gallina was "a threat to the community" @KLEWNews pic.twitter.com/Aakw2Yw27t— Armen Araradian (@ArmenKLEW) April 12, 2019
According to court document one victim claims that her encounters iwth the Judge were aggressive in nature that he would allegedly taking off her clothes, sometimes tearing them. He reportedly would grope parts of her body, kiss her, and compliment her breasts and clothing. Aside from groping her, grinding on her over a desk or on a wall his aggressive demeanor was once so harsh he bit her drawing blood.
Everyone knew what he was like. If it wasn’t for the friend of a friend asking the detectives at the Sheriff’s department to look into it – it would still be going on. Many complaints have been filed, there are probably many interns and law students that were victims to even more abuse. A man with power like that dangles your career over your head and if you resisted him or showed any incline to report him you would be fired or chased out. I am glad I had minimal contact with him but that man also tried cases in an odd way and that is something to look into. Inslee knew he had received communication, anonymously from many about his behavior and deviant actions with women and how he handled cases.Columbia County Court Employee
Reported by Oregon Live:
Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price on Thursday issued a sexual assault protective order for one alleged victim and ordered Gallina to turn in his keys to the courthouse.
Gallina posted $50,000 bail The Lewiston Tribune reported and was told he was not to leave Washington or Idaho state as he awaits his trial. Gallina’s attorney Carl Oreskovich told The Associated Press his client adamantly denies the allegations and plans to enter not guilty pleas at his May 6 arraignment.
It’s just incredulous 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. He’s looking forward to getting in the courtroom, cross-examining witnesses and exposing the truthGallina’s attorney Carl Oreskovich
The Attorney General’s Office is now handling the case as requested by the prosecutors. Many believe more victims will come forward and allegations of misusing his office and seat of authority for personal sexual escapades is just the tip of the iceberg.
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. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Greg Tri or Detective Scott Neustel of the Washington State Patrol at 509-249-6743.Attorney General Bob Ferguson Statement
Judges who are the most highly esteemed of all for upholding the law are the most devastating cases of corruption realized. When those that are supposed to uphold the law use their authority for personal gain, harassment and malicious prosecution what can citizens do? Like many before these women complaints fell on deaf ears. If Gov. Inslee was told of such behavior what is his excuse for not acting on it?