Judge rules text messages are admissible in sex assault case

Posted at 6:29 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 18:32:08-05

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — Friday afternoon, Judge Edward Post ruled that questionable text messages from Thomas Galloway's phone can be used as evidence against him in his upcoming sex assault trial.

Galloway, a businessman and former travel team softball coach, is accused of raping a 13-year-old former player in 2012 and again in 2014. The Spring Lake man is charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct.

The texts came to light after an off-duty deputy allegedly spotted Galloway at an Allendale restaurant in September. Authorities said he was drinking alcohol, which is a violation of his bond. He was allegedly with a 17-year-old girl.

As a result, detectives requested a search warrant for his phone. An Ottawa County magistrate authorized it.

However, the defense argued that detectives had no right to search Galloway's phone since text messages have nothing to do with his bond conditions and that his client is only ordered to stay away from girls 16 and under.

Judge Post said he believes detectives acted in 'good faith' when obtaining a search warrant for the phone. The prosecution also motioned to admit four new pieces of evidence, including an inappropriate letter Galloway allegedly wrote to an underage girl from the Ottawa County Jail. The defense can still object to that admission.

Galloway's trial is expected to begin in January.