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Plea deal made in sex crimes case

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Paul Galano


Man accused of assaulting two teen girls avoids jail, pleads to reduced charges

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- A Frederick County man accused of sexually assaulting two teen girls in early 2011 avoided jail time by pleading guilty to lesser charges.

Paul Brandon Galano, 38, of Buckingham Drive, Stephens City, appeared Friday in Frederick County Circuit Court to face trial on two felony counts each of aggravated sexual battery, and misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and purchasing alcohol for a minor. A conviction aggravated sexual battery carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.

Galano instead entered an agreement reached between the commonwealth and defense attorney J. Michael Solak under which the defendant pleaded guilty to the reduced charges of domestic assault and battery as amended in his original indictment on the sexual battery counts. Galano entered an "Alford plea" to the misdemeanor counts, meaning he maintains his innocence but admits the commonwealth has substantial evidence and the defendant does not want to take a chance of conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.

Retired Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. accepted the agreement, placed Galano on first-offender status and withheld adjudication of Galano's assault charges until April 7, 2016. Commonwealth's Attorney Glenn Williamson explained that Galano must remain on supervised probation for four years and, upon successful completion of the conditions of the release the court would then dismiss the charges.

Authorities accused Galano of touching two girls, 13 and 17, on their buttocks on the same day, according to Williamson. Indictments accused Galano of committing the offenses between Jan. 11 and March 1, 2011. In the incident involving the 13 year old, Galano hugged the girl, reached down and touched her on the buttocks under her dress, Williamson said. Regarding the 17 year old, the girl had complained to Galano she looked fat and, after he told her she wasn't the defendant touched her on the buttocks, Williamson said.
"I did represent to the judge in open court that the victims were adamant that they did not want Mr. Galano to be incarcerated and even though they didn't waiver in their statement as to what had occurred that they thought we were treating the matter more seriously than what it deserved," Williamson said by phone later Friday. "I am in no way intending to be critical of the victims. ... It was very much their desire that he not be incarcerated."

The alleged victims, with whom Williamson said he met several times, expressed no problems with the outcome as dictated in the agreement, the prosecutor said.

Galano pleaded guilty to the two counts of purchasing alcohol for minors and received 30-day jail sentences, all time suspended, and ordered to pay a $500 fine for each charge. Galano had provided alcohol to the same 17-year-old girl in the assault case and an underage friend of the family, according to Williamson.

The court dismissed Galano's remaining counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.




5 Comments



Please let me start by saying that I am not an angel, I am a convicted felony for DUI's. I broke the law and was punished for my actions,I received a total of more than 10 years in prison, but I feel that in the last month the things I have read in this paper as far as sex crimes and especially sex crimes against children are absolutely insane. I COULD have had an accident and hurt INNOCENT people, but I didn't. But to allow the people that have sexually molested children not receiving any jail or prison time or receiving very minimal incarceration is insane. These people, whether the public believes it or not have caused mental damage to the children that will follow them for the rest of their lives and they are paying no consequences for their premeditated and violent actions. The victims themselves could and will probably become a very disturbed individual to themselves as well a their innocent families as well as society. They NEVER asked to be molested, or violated by the individuals that did the actions. I only ask that the legal system get their priorities in order, if DUI's are going to be a large public issue and severely punishable, then make the men and women that molest children and women just as accountable for their actions and use the legal system to incarcerate them for the same appropriate amount of time for the mental abuse they inflicted on these children that didn't ask for that abuse.

I would have to agree, myself not being perfect. I'm 18 years old and just got convicted of 4 felony charges with all time suspended, and the court gives a 38 year old, who knows right between wrong, especially when it comes to sex offenses against children, a plea agreement to drop all his charges? This is by far ridiculous... ruin my life at 18 but leave a 38 year old sex offender off the hook so he can commit crimes again.

One of those stories that has you scratching your head at the end. How and why was a 13 yr. old and 17 yr. old hanging out with this guy? Where was the parents? Who called the police? The kids request no incarceration and think it is being blown out of purportion? The guy was wrong but I don't think I would call for the firing squad/castration like I would for most sexual predators of kids either. Who knows, this sentence may be a lot closer to fair than unjust.

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I agree completely!!!! Any Judge giving sex offenders a second chance has obviously not been offended before... Shame on the system that is NOT protecting our children.....

"More fair than unjust" that is just absurd. Who knows how far he would have taken it if he wasn't caught. Also, people go to school for years to learn how the laws works and what is fair and unjust, that being said who lets children have a say on how to punish a criminal? We seem to have more and more children becoming victims and when these kids grow up they will have no faith in our legal system because it failed to protect them. Maybe if our laws and punishments were more strict then these sickos would think twice about ruining a young life. They keep doing it because they keep getting away with it.



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