ASOTIN, Asotin County — Two women have filed a civil lawsuit against Asotin County Superior Court Judge Scott Gallina and Asotin County, claiming that when they reported alleged sexual assault by Gallina, Asotin County officials failed to act.
The 33-page document filed in federal court says both women reported Gallina’s alleged misconduct to multiple county officials at different points from 2016 to 2018, and they say the officials were dismissive, KLEW-TV reported.
The women say county officials either did nothing or told them things including to stay away from him and that nothing could be done because Gallina was an elected official.
Gallina was charged in 2019 by the state Attorney General’s office with six felonies related to sexual misconduct at work, including rape. He has pleaded not guilty.
According to a probable cause statement, prosecutors believe Gallina began harassing one courthouse employee shortly after she began working there in 2017, would call her into his chambers and make sure the door was locked before making inappropriate comments and hugging her without consent. 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 once forcefully bent her over the end of his desk and another time forced her against a wall and kissed her.
According to the documents, after Gallina’s arrest, he voluntarily took administrative leave with full pay and benefits. It’s unclear if he’s still being paid by the county. An email to the county wasn’t immediately returned.
The Attorney General’s Office said last week that Gallina’s trial date was struck due to COVID-19 and they are waiting for a new trial date to be set.
Gallina is not seeking another term as judge, The Union Bulletin reported.