A San Diego police officer arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman he pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving was facing possible felony charges on Saturday.
Anthony Arevalos, 40, was arrested about 5 p.m. Friday on suspicion of sexual battery, false imprisonment and assault under the color of authority, San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown said. Arevalos posted bail early Saturday morning and has been suspended from duty without pay while the investigation continues.
The alleged assault occurred late Tuesday night, after Arevalos, a traffic officer and 18-year department veteran, pulled over a 32-year-old woman on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, according to Brown.
The woman, who was not arrested, reported the alleged crime the next day.
During a news conference on Friday evening, San Diego assistant police chief Cesar Solis said, "This very courageous victim came forward to place a very serious allegation against a law enforcement officer."
San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne told 10News that Arevalos may have been involved in a similar crime a year ago.
"We have another case that we are investigating that has some similarities to it," said Lansdowne. "We believe some of the evidence we found in this case this week may relate back to that case and help us be able to prosecute a second case."
Lansdowne said the earlier case was thoroughly investigated at the time but there was not enough evidence to bring any charges.
In 1997, the District Attorney's Office cleared Arevalos in the wounding of Laura Pinon, 18, of San Ysidro, who pointed a fake gun that looked like an Uzi at some passing cars, including police, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Another officer, Art Perea, resigned last week while under investigation for allegedly raping a college student in El Cajon.
Copyright Do you have more information about this story? Click here to contact usCopyright 2011 by 10News.com. City News Service contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.