Lawyer for Junior Galette’s accuser criticizes decision not to prosecute him _lowres

Advocate file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette brings down Baltimore running back Justin Forsett last season. NFL investigators have spoken to local prosecutors about whether Galette violated the league's personal conduct policy.

The misdemeanor domestic violence case against Saints pass rusher Junior Galette won’t be pursued in Kenner court, officials said Thursday night.

Kenner City Attorney Michael Power said a prosecutor in his office specializing in domestic violence, Howie Peters, on Thursday morning interviewed Galette and four other people who were at Galette’s home on Jan. 5, when police officers responded to a disturbance at the residence. From those interviews, Peters concluded that there was not a case he could prosecute because Galette’s accuser did not live at the house — Kenner’s domestic violence ordinance requires a victim and a defendant to co-habitate, Power said.

Among the witnesses on Thursday were people who had not been interviewed by Kenner police investigators but were produced for Peters, Power said.

There will also be no simple battery case pursued against a second man who was arrested at Galette’s house in the Place Pontchartrain subdivision the night of the altercation, Terrance Banks, Power said. Power added that he did not expect state prosecutors in Jefferson Parish — where Kenner is — would pursue a case against Galette on an alleged violation of a city ordinance.

In a statement released through the public relations firm Fletcher Rowley, Galette’s lawyer Ralph Whalen said he was informed by Peters about the refusal of the case against the Saints player.

“This confirms what we have said from the beginning about Junior Galette’s actions and character,” said Whalen, whose client has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Power’s announcement and Whalen’s statement came hours after the woman who accused Galette of attacking her filed a civil lawsuit against the player in Jefferson Parish. The lawsuit alleged that Galette attacked her at the end of an abusive, live-in relationship during which she was trapped and even sexually assaulted by him and some of his Saints teammates, none of who were named.

Galette denied ever living with the woman, calling her a dancer who he invited to his house on Jan. 4 and who spent the night before becoming upset because of a disagreement over cab money.

Joe Raspanti, the lawyer for Galette’s accuser, said on Thursday that he and his client would proceed with their civil suit despite the Kenner City Attorney Office’s decision.

The only crime police in Kenner booked Galette with when they responded to the altercation at his home involving the lawsuit’s plaintiff was simple battery related to domestic violence.

A Kenner police spokesman on Thursday said Galette’s accuser had not relayed any of the allegations in her civil lawsuit to officers conducting the initial investigation into the Jan. 5 altercation.

Separate from the incident at Galette’s house, on Jan. 12 in Kenner, Banks and two other people were arrested for alleged illegal possession of drugs. Banks coincidentally was driving Galette’s car when he was stopped for having “extremely dark-tinted windows.” Galette was not with Banks or the others who were arrested on Jan. 12.

Power could not say whether those arrested with Banks on Jan. 12 were interviewed by Peters on Thursday. Banks has been described as Galette’s cousin and former college football teammate.

Whalen said the Galette’s accuser filed suit after she had unsuccessfully demanded a $2 million settlement in writing. Whalen portrayed the lawsuit “as a shakedown attempt,” and Galette has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Raspanti on Thursday did not dispute that he had sent a letter dated Jan. 26 proposing a $2 million settlement in the matter.

Galette’s initial court appearance in Kenner had been set for Feb. 26. He had been facing the possibility of being suspended for several NFL games in 2015 under a personal conduct policy the league adopted in December, and a dropped criminal case might reduce his chances of being disciplined.