Today’s news:

Gallagher could receive new rape case plea deal

Gallagher was arrested in August after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 52-year-old grandmother in his district office on Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village.Queens Supreme Court Justice Sherri Roman dismissed the indictment against the councilman in late January following a request by Benjamin Brafman, Gallagher's attorney, who contended that Gallagher was asked biased questions about his City Council position and marriage during grand jury proceedings.But Roman said that the court found sufficient evidence to support charges brought against the councilman and gave prosecutors until March to decide whether to bring Gallagher before a second grand jury.Queens DA Richard Brown offered Gallagher a plea bargain that would prevent him from serving prison time and keep him off the sex offender registry, a source said. Under the deal, however, he would have to relinquish his Council position, the source said.Brown indicated that his office plans to impanel another grand jury to hear the case and the source said that the DA hopes to indict the councilman in early March. Gallagher rejected an earlier plea bargain under which he would have admitted to felony assault but not served time, the source said.Brafman and the DA's office would not comment on the case.Gallagher was arrested in early August after he allegedly raped the woman on July 8 at his office and was charged with three counts of rape, a criminal sexual act and assault, the DA said. The councilman, who is married and has two children, brought the woman back to his district office after meeting her at Danny Boy's, a neighborhood bar.Gallagher, who is scheduled to return to court on March 20, contends that he and the woman had consensual sex. He could face up to 26 years in prison if convicted of rape charges, the DA said.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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