SPOKANE, WA – Shock, concern and a sense of guilt are circulating among members of the Spokane theater community over a recent lighting technician at the Spokane Children’s Theater who is accused of raping a teenage girl in the one of his pieces.
On December 7, 2019, the Spokane Children’s Theater was showing the play “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.
But as some of the kids in the production met the audience after a show, one said she was having the worst experience of her life.
Aged 14 at the time, prosecutors say she was stripped of her childhood in a car parked outside the theater by a man hired to do the lighting for the play.
That man was Galen Myers, 25, who was 22 at the time.
“When I first heard about it I was like ‘it’s not the same guy, it can’t be,'” said Teo Damitio, a friend of Myers. “It was a big surprise, especially when he was very involved in the community, not to mention a children’s theater.”
“He put on a completely different mask for us,” said Christian Trigg, who knew him in high school.
According to court documents, Myers asked the girl to carry items into his car where he pushed her into the backseat, locked the doors, raped her and threatened her.
He told her “It would be much worse next time” and “No one would believe her”.
It wasn’t until she saw that Myers had been convicted and sentenced for a different sex crime that she came forward and told her parents.
That same night, just after Myers left the children’s theater, he was arrested by Coeur d’Alene police for child pornography and injuring a 12-year-old girl a month earlier.
But it wasn’t the first time his interactions with children had turned criminal.
“There was an assault on my friend,” Damitio said.
“She told us what happened, how he touched her inappropriately in the middle of the night while he was in the kitchen,” said a woman who works at the theater and wished to remain anonymous.
In December 2018, a member of the theater who wanted to remain anonymous said Myers was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl he met at the same theater, but it’s unclear why he was never charged. .
Several girls… several terrifying incidents… and most surprisingly… there were people who knew.
“They messaged me on Instagram many years ago when this first happened,” Damitio said. “But it’s like they didn’t want to believe my friends’ story at the time.”
Many remained silent.
“I’m sorry I didn’t do anything at the time, and I wish I had,” he said.
Before the most recent incident in 2019, a parent told the general manager of the Children’s Theater that Myers was “too friendly” with some of the girls, but court documents say he was vital to the show, the director just asked that he stay in the light booth, away from the children.
Just another status story of a man burying years of potential abuse.
“I believe it was almost purely because of the status. Yes, we had people who knew how to operate the lights, but not as well as he did. He built the system. He put it in place,” said a member of the theater. “There are a lot of secrets in the theater world that they keep secret for a reason. They don’t want bad things to happen. They don’t want the bad little things that happen in theater to come out. At the end of the day, the show must go on.”
KHQ contacted Spokane Children’s Theatre. Here is their response:
SCT has received your interview request. The family involved has asked SCT not to discuss this matter. Instead, the family asked TBS to share the letter sent on September 29, 2021 to everyone on shows where Galen Myers was also involved.
Former Spokane Children’s Theater volunteer Galen T. Myers (D/O/B 1997) is currently behind bars in Idaho after pleading guilty (May 2020) to felony harm to a child and possession of physical equipment. sexual exploitation of children committed in December 2019. He was sentenced to 4 years and 6 years for these crimes. Mr. Myers has directed the sound and lighting at some shows at TBS in the past. You are receiving this email because you participated in one of these shows.
SCT has also been made aware of two allegations of sexual assault/abuse against Mr. Myers by children he met at SCT productions. We support and applaud the courage of these two SCT children to take the necessary steps to report the behavior to the authorities.
TBS is devastated by this news. SCT is committed to ensuring the safety of all actors, and in particular the most vulnerable among us, our children. SCT required each adult member to submit and pass a background check. Unfortunately, this check did not turn up anything for Mr. Myers as he had no criminal history.
SCT has decided to contact all cast members who have appeared on shows that Mr. Myers has appeared on. SCT wants to make sure all other victims feel empowered to file a police report by calling Crime Check at (509) 456-2233. If you prefer to contact SCT directly, you can certainly do so by contacting Doug Beschta or any of the board members you feel comfortable contacting. We will keep your discussion confidential.
With the deepest sincerity,
SCT Board of Directors and Doug Beschta CEO of SCT