Gallina trial could see another judge replacement

Prosecutors with the Washington state Attorney General’s Office are reportedly seeking a new judge to oversee the sexual assault and misconduct trial of former Asotin County Superior Court Judge Scott Gallina.

The 57year-old Gallina is supposed to go on trial in 2022 for second-degree rape, indecent liberties and third-degree assaults with sexual motivation that allegedly occurred while he was serving as judge in Asotin, Garfield and Columbia counties.

For more than two years, Gallina’s trial has been delayed multiple times because of requests from the defense and the state, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, four judges have been assigned to the case and subsequently recused themselves or were removed for various reasons.

Last month, Yakima County Superior Court Judge Jeffery Swan was assigned to the case, and a status hearing was conducted Aug. 23rd. At the time, Swan said he was prepared to oversee the trial in Asotin County when a date is set.

But the state’s attorneys in the case have filed a request to remove Swan, which would further delay the trial.

An online hearing on the issue has been scheduled for next Tuesday. (Lewiston Tribune)