WAUKESHA — A jury trial has been set for a former Waukesha South High School principal accused of neglecting his own children.
Ryan Galante, 35, faces two misdemeanor counts of neglecting a child. In court Wednesday, Feb. 13, a jury trial was scheduled to begin on May 21.
Galante resigned as principal in October.
The district attorney said Galante’s heavy drinking contributed to an injury to his newborn and rendered him incapable of caring for his older child should an emergency have happened while they were home alone.
According to the criminal complaint, a 1-month-old child was brought to Children’s Hospital late on Christmas Eve in 2017, where X-rays were performed. A doctor later determined the infant suffered a fractured right femur that was “likely caused by a twisting motion” — and would “have required a considerable (amount) of force.”
Investigators interviewed Galante’s wife — who indicated Galante was holding the infant and later noticed the child was in pain and “witnessed (the child) begin to cry.” Later, while changing the child’s diaper, the mother “noticed that (the child’s) leg appeared to be out of position.” She took the infant to the emergency room.
When a deputy got to Galante’s residence around 4 a.m. the next morning, Galante “blew a 0.204 at that time.” Galante said in the presence of his wife, “I’ve ruined everything” and “I’m sorry.” Galante also told his wife “there is a bottle of whiskey that was hidden in the basement,” the complaint said.
When questioned about the incident that may have injured his child, Galante told a social worker the newborn “was slipping (from his grasp) and he grabbed her by the leg to prevent her from falling and didn’t mean to.” He acknowledged drinking on Dec. 24, 2017 and that he “had quite a bit.” He said he didn’t want his wife to know he was drinking again because he is a “recovering alcoholic.”
The complaint said a second interview of Galante was conducted on Dec. 27, 2017. He told investigators he “does remember (on Dec. 24, 2017) being downstairs in the late afternoon in the basement, which is where he would drink.” He said on Dec. 24, 2017, “he did about three to four shots,” but struggled to explain exactly when this happened on that date. The complaint said while Galante could not remember exactly what happened to the infant, he was “extremely adamant that he did not drop (the child).”
Prosecutors said he indicated he continued to drink while his wife was at the hospital with the baby, and he was home alone with his other child — a 3-year-old. Deputies said on the night of the incident, Galante was so drunk, he was unable to write a statement about the incident.