RENO — A federal judge is weighing evidence and testimony in a civil lawsuit accusing Washoe County District Attorney Dick Gammick and his top assistant of retaliating against a former sheriff’s detective after he questioned the accuracy of experts used in child sexual assault cases.
U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt of Las Vegas presided over the six-day trial. A ruling is expected in a couple weeks.
Rene Botello’s lawsuit claims Gammick and Assistant District Attorney John Helzer derailed his career after he complained in 2001 that two nurses used as expert witnesses in sexual assault cases regularly gave incorrect testimony.
Botello’s case initially was dismissed in 2003 by Hunt, who agreed with Gammick’s argument that his position as prosecutor gave him immunity from such lawsuits. But the suit was reinstated two years later by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was cleared for trial when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.