Galloway arraigned for third bond violation

Krystle Wagner • Sep 19, 2016 at 10:47 AM

A former girls softball coach, charged with molesting one of his players, appeared in Ottawa County Circuit Court on Monday for violating terms of his bond.

Thomas Barnes Galloway, 44, was booked at the Ottawa County Jail following arraignment for a third violation of his bond in relation to alcohol.

Judge Ed Post raised the Spring Lake man’s bond to $500,000 or cash surety. If Galloway posts bond, he will be placed on a tether and sobrietor (remote alcohol testing device), and be confined to his home.

Given Galloway’s repeated violations, Post said he no longer had confidence the man would be likely to abide by the terms of his bond.

“I believe the defendant presents a clear and present risk to the community,” the judge said.

Post said bond was initially set low, but Galloway has repeatedly violated its terms as it relates to alcohol. Post said that part of the bond conditions is important because it’s alleged alcohol was involved in the incident with the victim.

The hearing initially began Sept. 15, but was postponed until Galloway could consult with his attorney.

In court on Monday, Galloway’s attorney, David Zessin, said his client acknowledged consuming alcohol and being in an establishment where alcohol is served. One of Galloway’s bond conditions is that “he cannot use alcohol or possess alcohol, or be in an establishment where alcohol is sold or consumed.”

The prosecution said a recent seizure of Galloway’s phone reveals several “concerning texts” between Galloway and a 17-year-old girl, a former player on the team he coached, with whom he was at the establishment when he was arrested.

Zessin questioned the warrant for the phone seizure and said he has an obligation to his client to know. Zessin said they were in court Monday morning to address bond violations, and there’s nothing in the bond that states having contact with a 17-year-old would be a violation.

Since the 17-year-old is a witness for the prosecution, Zessin said he would have no problem if the court wants to impose a condition about having contact with witnesses.

The prosecution said police reports were coming regarding the phone’s content.

Galloway was arrested in March following an investigation into accusations that he sexually assaulted a former player on a softball team that he coached. The girl was 13 at the time of the alleged incident in 2012.

Ottawa County District Judge Craig Bunce said there was probable cause to establish the level of the girl’s vulnerability since Galloway was in a position of trust on a year-round basis. Galloway was bound over to Circuit Court on four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. If convicted of the charge with the added element of being a person with authority over the girl, he faces a minimum of 25 years in prison.

On July 1, Galloway went before Post after leaving Michigan to attend a wedding and for consuming alcohol during the reception. Both actions are violations of his bond. At the time, Post denied the prosecution’s request to revoke bond noting that Galloway wasn’t a danger to the public and he continued showing up for hearings as scheduled.

On July 18, Galloway appeared before Post on a contempt of court charge after he was seen drinking alcohol at a local golf course. Post fined Galloway $750 and modified the bond conditions so “he cannot use alcohol or possess alcohol, or be in an establishment where alcohol is sold or consumed.”

A trial is scheduled for early November.

Tribune reporter Becky Vargo contributed to this report.

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