Union-Bulletin Court Report

SPOKANE — Three new assault charges were added to the list of sexual misconduct allegations against Superior Court Judge Scott D. Gallina at a court hearing Thursday in Spokane County.

Judge Michael Price approved amended information at a brief hearing with the defendant, Assistant Attorney General Sean Waite of Seattle and Spokane defense attorney Carl Oreskovich.

Gallina, who has pleaded innocent to all allegations, is now facing seven charges for alleged incidents while he was on the bench in Columbia, Asotin and Garfield counties. The 55-year-old Clarkston resident has been on paid administrative leave since his arrest on April 10 at the Asotin County Courthouse.

He is charged with second-degree rape and indecent liberties, both Class A felonies, and five counts of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, gross misdemeanors, for alleged crimes against three women employed at the Asotin County Courthouse. All of the alleged incidents occurred in the workplace.

Assistant Attorney General Melanie Tratnik is the lead prosecutor in the case, but she is out of the country this week, so Waite handled Thursday’s proceeding.

Judge Price was appointed by the Washington State Supreme Court to oversee the unprecedented case. He has scheduled a pretrial hearing for Aug. 23, which will likely be changed, and the trial is tentatively set to begin Sept. 30.

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