Woman Claims Ex-Officer Flirted With Her At Traffic Stop
Woman Testifies Ex-SDPD Officer Anthony Arevalos 'Wanted Something Sexual'
7:41 AM, Oct 25, 2011
A woman pulled over by a former San Diego police officer accused of trying to elicit sexual favors from women he stopped testified Tuesday that he flirted with her and wanted something sexual in return for letting her go.
The woman, testifying in the trial of Anthony Arevalos, said that he pulled her over about 2:30 a.m. in September 2009 after she turned the wrong way on a one-way street in the Gaslamp Quarter.After performing a series of field sobriety tests, the woman said she was taken to police headquarters to blow into a breathalyzer because Arevalos said he didn't have one in his patrol car.She said she told the officer she didn't have that much to drink after work at Dick's Last Resort and asked him what was going to happen."He said, 'We'll have to see if we can work something out,'" the woman testified. "I felt that he was already flirting with me. He asked me what kind of favors I could do for him. I felt like he was implying some sort of sexual favor."When asked about many times Arevalos talked to her about owing him a favor, the woman responded, "I'd say at least 10, 15 times. It was pretty constant." The woman told the officer that she didn't have any money or connections and didn't know exactly what he wanted.She testified that Arevalos told her that he knew where she worked and that he would be back to collect a favor in return."He said, 'It's not over yet,'" the woman testified.The woman said she blew into the breathalyzer, but Arevalos never gave her the results and repeated his request to "work something out." The woman said Arevalos was never specific about what he wanted as a favor."I said, I don't have any money, I don't know what you want," she testified. "I felt like he wanted something sexual."She said the officer took her back to her car, which was towed because of an expired registration, and she and a friend walked to the friend's truck.The woman said she didn't report the incident because she was afraid she might get a DUI, but she did talk to a vice officer she knew about what happened.On cross-examination, she told defense attorney Jan Ronis that Arevalos never touched her and never said anything sexual other than to comment about her "I love Dick's" underwear that was showing."He said, 'Those are interesting underwear,'" the woman testified.The witness said Arevalos was definitely flirting with her."I know what flirting is," she said. "He was flirting with me."The encounter with Arevalos expedited her move to Pennsylvania in December 2009, she said.Authorities contacted the woman earlier this year about the incident two years ago.Arevalos was with the San Diego Police Department for 18 years before being fired earlier this year when the charges -- including assault under the color of authority, sexual battery by restraint, false imprisonment and soliciting or receiving a bribe -- were filed.He faces more than 19 years in prison if convicted of 21 felony counts.In her opening statement, Deputy District Attorney Sherry Thompson told jurors that the Gaslamp Quarter was a "board" for a game played by Arevalos -- "a game called 'What Can You Offer Me?'"Arevalos used his position of authority to barter and trade sexual favors from alleged female drunken driving offenders. Thompson ran through the experiences of seven women, some of whom were ultimately arrested for driving under the influence and others who were let go."Jane Doe" had just ridden on a Mardi Gras float and was trying to get to work when Arevalos pulled her over, Thompson said. The young woman was panicked and hyperventilating, she said."He says, 'Calm down, there are other options,'" Thompson said. "She doesn't know what to do, and the negotiations begin."Arevalos ended up rubbing her private parts in a 7-Eleven bathroom, according to Thompson.Adams said the GPS confirmed the officer's presence at the convenience store, and employees identified him.Thompson said another alleged victim flashed her breasts at Arevalos, and he rubbed under the underwear and bra of a third woman.Ronis, in his opening statement told jurors they should keep an open mind because the women were under the influence of alcohol at the time, which "skewed" both their perception of events and their memories.Also, several of the women have filed claims -- the precursor to lawsuits -- pending against the city -- and two of them have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in separate cases since their allegations against Arevalos were made, Ronis said.