Monday, January 30, 2023
Jan. 30, 2023

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Former children’s theatre employee accused of raping 14-year-old pleads guilty to lesser charge


SPOKANE — A former Spokane Children’s Theatre employee initially charged with kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old actress in 2019 pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Galen T. Myers, 25, will be sentenced Dec. 14 for the charge, which carries a standard sentencing range of 12 to 16 months in prison. Myers, wearing a yellow Spokane County inmate jumpsuit Tuesday, has been in the Spokane County Jail since Jan. 11, according to the jail roster. He will be given credit for time served for whatever sentence Superior Court Judge Rachelle Anderson hands down.

Details of the plea agreement were not immediately clear Tuesday.

According to court documents, Myers asked the girl to help him carry items to his car Dec. 7, 2019, after a show at the theater, 2727 N. Madelia St.

The girl told police she had known Myers, who was 22 at the time and ran the theater’s lighting system, for about a year . She said Myers frequently popped her back and wrists, gave her hugs and put his hand on her back, court records said.

She told police Myers opened the rear passenger seat door that evening, pushed her into the backseat of the sedan, locked it and shut the door. Myers opened the front seat of the car, entered the vehicle and locked the doors behind him, she told police. He then climbed into the backseat with her and sexually assaulted her while she yelled for him to get off her and to stop, court documents said.

After the assault, she said Myers told her not to tell anyone what happened because “it would be much worse the next time” and “no one would believe her.” The girl told police Myers drove away in his vehicle while she returned inside the theater feeling “numb.”

Myers was arrested that night by Coeur d’Alene police officers, who were investigating him for inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl, according to documents. Myers told Coeur d’Alene police detectives he was attracted to underage girls. Several child pornography images were also found on Myers’ phone.

Myers is in the middle of serving a four-year prison sentence in Idaho for possessing child pornography and injuring a child, according to Idaho’s online Court Portal.

In December 2018, Myers allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl but was never charged, documents said.

Meanwhile, the father of the young actress told police Myers’ actions, like hugging and being “over affectionate” toward girls in the theater, concerned him.

Doug Beschta, managing director at the theater, told police a parent approached him in October 2019 with concerns of Myers being “too friendly” with some of the girls at a performance. Beschta said the parent told him Myers put his arm around one of the girls and she appeared uncomfortable.

Beschta told police he approached Myers about the concern and asked Myers to remain in the lighting booth and be aware of his actions involving actresses.

Multiple other people associated with the theater raised concerns about Myers’ inappropriate behavior toward girls at the theater, according to a Spokesman-Review story earlier this year.

The girl said she did not immediately report the assault because she was not ready and thought no one would believe her, according to documents. She struggled with depression, suicidal thoughts and an overall decline in health in the months following the assault, court records said.

Her father said her grades declined, she had sleeping problems, she would not eat and she stopped acting in shows after years of performing, he told police. He said his daughter eventually told her parents in June 2020 that Myers assaulted her.

Myers, while imprisoned in Boise, told a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office detective in August 2021 that the Spokane Children’s Theatre actress gave Myers a hug after the performance on the day of the assault. He said the girl told him to have a safe drive and he left in his vehicle, documents said. He told the detective the girl had never been inside his car and denied having any sexual contact with the girl that night or any other time.

Myers’ sentencing next month for the December 2019 incident will run at the same time as his prison sentence in Idaho.

The maximum sentence for the communication with a minor charge, a Class C felony, is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Myers faces three years of community custody, or probation, after he is released from prison and will be required to register as a sex offender for the charge.