A woman expressed mixed emotions Friday after a former San Diego police officer was found guilty of demanding sexual favors from women he pulled over.
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One day after a jury convicted ex-SDPD Officer Anthony Arevalos on eight felony counts, alleged victim Marjan Montazemi, 25, remained stunned by what transpired in court.
With her attorney, Dan Gilleon, by her side, Montazemi said, "It's upsetting. I'm very, very hurt."
When the first guilty verdicts were read, Montazemi was in the courtroom. She told 10News, "I was full of joy."
Moments later, the joy turned into something else.
"I just couldn't believe they didn't believe anything I said," said Montazemi.
Arevalos was acquitted of all seven charges related to Montazemi's case.
She testified that Arevalos pulled her over two years ago and then molested her in and out of a patrol car.
Jurors said they were bothered by inconsistencies. Montazemi reportedly blew a .12 blood alcohol level but said she didn't feel the alcohol. She also contends she had less than two drinks that night, and the test administered by Arevalos was unreliable.
"He was passing the device between me and my sister, who was with me that night," said Montazemi.
Another possible factor was a highly unusual live demonstration during her testimony, in which Montazemi played the role of Arevalos.
"I was a little embarrassed," Montazemi said of the demonstration.
While she doesn't regret agreeing to the tactic, some experts say it may have desensitized the jury to the crime.
Additionally, Gilleon said Montazemi's Iranian background may also have hurt her.
"I've seen it too many times. Accents and language makes it hard for a jury to connect to people," Gilleon said.
Despite the verdict, Gilleon said he will pursue a civil claim against the city of San Diego and police department.
Montazemi said she's focusing on the fact that Arevalos is headed to prison.
"I'm satisfied he's gone, even though they didn't believe me
he's going where he belongs," she said.
Gilleon said he expects a settlement in the civil claim.
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