High Wind Watch issued December 21 at 1:55PM PST expiring December 23 at 2:00PM PST in effect for: Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego
Search warrants were opened Thursday in the case of a former veteran San Diego police officer charged with asking women for sexual favors in exchange for ignoring traffic offenses.The search warrants, dated March 16, 2011, offer new detail into the charges against former SDPD Officer Anthony Arevalos. Arevalos was fired from the police department April 14 as more evidence surfaced in the case against him.One of the unsealed warrants revealed how an alleged victim called Arevalos' cell phone the day after she claims she was sexually assaulted after the Gaslamp's Mardi Gras celebration in March. Detectives recorded the conversation, which took place the day after Arevalos allegedly pulled the woman over on suspicion of DUI and then took her to a 7-Eleven restroom, where she said he sexually assaulted her.In that conversation, Arevalos and the woman spoke about his letting her off the hook for DUI. According to the documents, Arevalos said, "I have the paperwork in my hands. No one can make me turn it in. It's up to me to turn it in. If I don't turn it in, then nobody knows about it."According to the documents, when the woman asked Arevalos what he liked best about their encounter, he responded, "When the shirt came up and the pants went down. I didn't expect your body to be as nice and as wonderful as it was."Arevalos was arrested two days later. Since then, several women have come forward claiming Arevalos treated them in a similar fashion. According to the search warrants, one of the women was forced to do a field sobriety test with her high heels on because Arevalos said she looked good in them. The search warrants went on to say Arevalos "slipped his hand into her pants, under her thong and into her butt crevice" as he said, "Easy, you're in good hands now."That same woman told police Arevalos told her if she asked him to spank her he would have let her go.The search warrants also references a former police officer who told police Arevalos was known to keep photographs of women (citizens) that he would contact during the course of his duties in various stages of undress while performing sexual acts with Arevalos.The former officer told police the pictures were taken while Arevalos was in uniform and on duty. The officer told investigators Arevalos had shown him the pictures some 15 years ago.Attorney Kerry Armstrong said he believes that's the same former police officer that contacted him.Armstrong told 10News the former officer told him about a disturbing incident that happened about 15 years ago in Balboa Park that involved a woman who was naked."Arevalos went to the call and apparently he took out his baton and asked the woman if she would masturbate herself with his baton," said Armstrong, who represents two of Arevalos' alleged victims. "The higher-ups in the police department apparently didn't know about it."Armstrong said the former officer told him two sergeants berated Arevalos for his bad behavior, but never noted it in his personnel file."He should have been fired back then," said Armstrong.Arevalos' attorney, Gretchen von Helms, called the story uncorroborated gossip."If the prosecution seeks to use that kind of evidence, I'm of the opinion that a judge would probably not allow some old gossip from 15 years ago in the case," said von Helms, who added that the former officer who made the accusation had been fired from the police department."What we have to remember is that people are presumed innocent, and especially a police officer of 18 years," added Von Helms.She told 10News the people who claim Arevalos abused his authority by asking them for sexual favors were pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving, a criminal offense.She said the evidence laid out in the search warrants may look different once put into context, something she plans to do when she defends Arevalos in court.Arevalos' pre-trial hearing is scheduled for June 6th.