Superior Court Judge Scott D. Gallina. (Asotin County)

Superior Court Judge Scott D. Gallina. (Asotin County)

Washington judge arrested in sexual misconduct investigation

Superior Court Judge Scott Gallina was taken into custody Wednesday in Asotin.

By Kristin M. Kraemer / Tri-City Herald

ASOTIN — A Superior Court judge based in Asotin was arrested at the courthouse Wednesday on suspicion of criminal sexual misconduct.

Judge Scott D. Gallina’s arrest came nearly two weeks after Asotin County sheriff’s officials asked investigators with the Washington State Patrol to get involved because of a potential conflict of interest.

Gallina, 55, was booked into the Walla Walla County jail at 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to online jail records.

He is being held on suspicion of second-degree rape, second-degree assault and indecent liberties, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a news release.

The case is being handled by the state Attorney General’s office at the request of the Asotin County prosecutor.

“We are reviewing the investigation and we expect to have a decision on possible criminal charges” Thursday, Ferguson said in the news release. “My office has been and will continue to work closely with the State Patrol to investigate the allegations.”

The State Patrol and the Attorney General’s Office did not disclose details about the allegations.

The Lewiston Tribune reported that Gallina was arrested by Asotin County sheriff’s deputies and state troopers following a civil hearing in the Asotin County Courthouse.

Gallina has been with the Hells Canyon Circuit court covering Asotin, Columbia and Garfield counties since May 2014, when he was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee. He replaced retired Judge William Acey. Gallina was then elected by the voters in November 2014, and again in November 2016.

Washington State Bar records show he got his license to practice in 1991. He is a graduate of Washington State University and the University of Idaho College of Law.

A news release Wednesday from the Washington State Patrol said it was asked to take over the investigation March 29 because it involved a public official accused of misconduct.

“From time to time, law enforcement agencies across the state request that we take specific roles in an investigation so there can be no question of the transparency, fairness and thoroughness of the process,” Chief John Batiste said.

“We take this responsibility quite seriously, and I appreciate the hard work done by the WSP personnel involved, as well as the professionalism and cooperation provided by the other agencies involved.”

Anyone with information about the allegations or potential victims is encouraged to call Detective Sgt. Greg Tri or Detective Scott Neustel with the state patrol at 509-249-6743.

“Victims of sexual abuse are often afraid to tell anyone, especially when the accused abuser has a position of power,” said Lt. Randy Hullinger of State Patrol’s Criminal Investigation Division.

“Victims can sometimes think they themselves did something wrong or they may get int trouble or be embarrassed by revealing what has happened to them.”

“Our detectives understand those concerns and work hard to respect the privacy rights of possible victims and to understand the emotional toll that situations like this bring,” Hullinger added.

“Most importantly, in all harmful situations, we word hard to make sure that the abuse stops and those who harm others face appropriate consequences.”

More in Northwest

Will Boy Scout bankruptcy sweep abuse cases under the rug?

38 scouting officials in Washington were known to be a danger to kids, including one in Everett.

Revenue forecast brings good news for Washington lawmakers

An unexpected jump in estate taxes, along with property taxes, were cited as reasons for the bounty.

Injured transient orca appears healthy near San Juan Islands

“He was surfing the wake of a big tanker and eating a nice sea lion lunch.”

Bernie Sanders draws thousands to rally in Tacoma

Supporters packed the Tacoma Dome. He was introduced by U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle.

Gov. Jay Inslee talks about homelessness and the climate

During an Editorial Board interview, he also discussed a wide range of other issues on the state agenda.

Hostages freed after 16-hour standoff; suspect presumed dead

A man barricaded himself in his sister’s home. After the rescue, the house burned.

Methow Valley residents rally behind man picked up by ICE

He was brought to the U.S. at age 12. People in this small community are fighting to bring him home.

Hanoko the elephant euthanized at Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Veterinarians in 2018 diagnosed Hanoko with cancer and with tuberculosis in 2019.

Oregon governor calls for tearing out Snake River dams

Washington’s Republican representatives are outraged at the idea.

Most Read