SAN DIEGO - Former San Diego police officer Anthony Arevalos had two convictions overturned because of a mistake made by the department which employed him.
San Diego police did not turn over all evidence to Arevalos' defense attorney's as he fought charges of sexual battery and harassment while on duty. Arevalos was convicted of assaulting 13 women.
"This case is being handled by the DA and a response would need to come from them," SDPD spokesman Kevin Mayer emailed Team 10 when asked why and how the evidence was forgotten. "The DA is handling and prosecuting this case. They have all the facts and know what information can be released."
A spokesman for the San Diego County district attorney said he could not comment as to why San Diego police failed to perform their police work adequately in this case.
The evidence in question includes hand written notes by Arevalos' 13th victim, known publicly only as Jane Doe. Less than 24 hours after Arevalos sexually assaulted Doe in a Gaslamp convenience store, she reported the crime. Detectives had her write down her story. Those notes were not presented to Arevalos' defense attorney's until after his conviction.
His attorneys claim the notes omit information about how Arevalos touched Doe. They say the notes show inconsistencies in evidence presented at trial.
"The police department took custody of the notes that they had told her to take and they put them in a drawer and they hide them for two years," Doe's attorney Linda Workman said. "This is just another example of the corruption and cover up that go on at the San Diego police department."
Workman said the mistake was intentional. Doe is involved in a civil lawsuit against the city of San Diego. She is asking for monetary damages and independent oversight of the San Diego police department.
"The San Diego police officers who handled Jane Doe's call and report of sexual assault basically have given Arevalos a possible get out of jail early card and they did it knowing what they did," she said.