A former Los Angeles Police Officer was sentenced Friday to a year in jail for repeatedly flashing residents near the Huntington Beach wetlands, including a 12-year-old girl who saw him three times.
Ryan Eric Galliher was convicted Dec. 1 on one felony count each of attempted lewd conduct and contacting a minor to commit a lewd act, along with six misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure and one misdemeanor count of lewd conduct in public.
Galliher, who could have faced up to eight years behind bars, was also placed on five years of formal probation, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Jess Rodriguez.
Prosecutors requested the jail/formal probation term so that the defendant will be supervised for five years after he gets out of custody. A prison sentence would not require any supervision after release.
“Ryan (Eric) Galliher likes exposing himself in public, in broad daylight to strangers,” Rodriguez told jurors during the trial. “He acted out on this desire over and over and over again until he was finally caught by the Huntington Beach Police Department in the act.”
The 12-year-old girl, who favored taking a shortcut home through the wetlands, first saw the suspect in February 2014, Rodriguez said.
She was frolicking with friends on a rope swing in the wetlands when “she sees the defendant look at her and her friends with one hand rubbing his crotch,” the prosecutor said.
Several days later, she was walking home from school by herself when she saw the suspect again.
“This time his penis is actually exposed, sticking out of his shorts,” the prosecutor said.
The flasher, who was a few feet away, asked the girl, “Is this big enough?” Rodriguez said. “Then he tells her, ‘You can touch it if you want to.”‘
The girl was taking the long way home to avoid the suspect on March 10, 2014, when she encountered him again, Rodriguez said. She heard the man’s voice behind her and turned around to see him exposing himself, the prosecutor said.
The girl walked into an apartment complex, where a woman helped her contact police, Rodriguez said.
About five weeks later, an 82-year-old woman saw the flasher touching himself on Bolsa Chica Street, Rodriguez said.
In mid-June 2014, police responding to a report of a nude man exposing himself stopped Galliher, who was running in the area, and “he immediately tells them he’s an off-duty police officer,” Rodriguez said. “So the officer who talks to him lets him go.”
Six days later, police received another call, but they couldn’t locate the victim, Rodriguez said.
Investigators started focusing on Galliher as a suspect, but when they showed a 4-year-old photo of him to victims, they could not identify him as the suspect, Rodriguez said.
The reports of flashing ceased until Oct. 20, 2014, when Cal State Long Beach athletes training in the wetlands saw a man exposing himself, Rodriguez said.
Three days later, police doing surveillance in the area where there were multiple reports of the flasher arrested Galliher. Officers “watch as he takes off his shirt and shorts and starts masturbating,” Rodriguez said.
When police showed victims a more recent photo of the suspect, some identified him as the culprit, Rodriguez said.
On the dates of the reports of flashing, Galliher had a day off from his job as an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, Rodriguez said.
The defendant’s attorney, Bill Seki, claimed his client had alibis for some of the dates in question and called it 11a case of faulty ID and a faulty investigation.”
The attorney said Galliher joined the LAPD after a stint in the Marines and called his client “a person of great character. He’s trustworthy. He’s reliable. He’s not a deviant.”
—City News Service