A former district attorney told 10News an in-court demonstration at the trial of a former San Diego police officer could end up hurting the prosecution.
» Sign Up For Breaking News Alerts» Like Us On Facebook
One of the women who claimed to have been sexually harassed and fondled by ex-SDPD Officer Anthony Arevalos climbed down from the witness stand to offer the court a demonstration on Monday.
Taking the role of Arevalos, the alleged victim placed her hands on a plain-clothes SDPD detective, whose hands were behind her back as though handcuffed. The witness then showed how the patrolman clutched her breast as he pushed her into the back of a squad car. The alleged victim also demonstrated how Arevalos' finger rubbed the side of her breast as he guided her back out.
Former San Diego County District Dttorney Paul Pfingst called Monday's demonstration an extraordinarily unusual trial technique.
"I've never heard in 30 years in the courtroom of people touching private parts of another person for demonstration purposes. It's a new one to me," said Pfingst.
The demonstration was apparently done to drive home the invasion of personal space that's being alleged, but Pfingst thinks it could, instead, dull the sense of outrage; seeing it done in front of a group of strangers.
"By doing this kind of touching casually in a courtroom and getting no reaction from the victim, it may tend to minimize the impact of touching and sexual battery to a jury," said Pfingst.
Each juror will make his or her own interpretation of the evidence while deliberating guilt or innocence. They certainly saw something Monday that's outside the norm.
Pfingst elaborated, "In 99.99 percent of the cases, judges will not allow certain things to happen in a courtroom. One is for people to handle guns, and the other is to start touching people in places that are normally considered to be private."
Arevalos could go to prison for 19 years if convicted of using his badge to seek sexual favors from women he'd pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Copyright Do you have more information about this story? Click here to contact usCopyright 2011 by 10News.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.