Woman: Officer Made Suggestive Offer To Resolve Traffic Stop
Woman Testifies Ex-SDPD Officer Anthony Arevalos Suggested Going To Dark Corner To Resolve Situation
9:32 AM, Oct 26, 2011
A woman pulled over by a former San Diego Police Department officer accused of trying to elicit sexual favors from women he stopped in the Gaslamp Quarter testified Wednesday that he suggested going off into a dark corner for a half-hour when he wasn't satisfied with her suggestions to resolve the situation.
The woman, testifying in the trial of 41-year-old Anthony Arevalos, said she was driving with two friends after going to a salsa dance club when Arevalos stopped her for an expired registration about 1 a.m. Dec. 29.The woman, who was 20 at the time, said Arevalos told her that he smelled alcohol in her car and made her blow twice into a breathalyzer."I blew .05 (percent)," the woman said.Even though she was under the legal limit, the woman said Arevalos told her that there was a "zero tolerance" for underage drinking and that she could face severe penalties."I remember him saying this wasn't good," the woman testified.She said she asked Arevalos if there was anything she could do to get out of a ticket, even offering to sleep in her car, but the officer didn't seem satisfied."He said, 'Well, what do you have to offer?'" the woman testified, saying Arevalos asked what getting out of the ticket was worth."We could go into a dark corner for a half-hour," Arevalos said, according to the witness.After back and forth negotiations, Arevalos told the woman that they were both "respectable people" and suggested they go into his patrol car for 15 minutes, the woman testified.The woman said she asked Arevalos if he'd been in a similar situation in the past and gone through with it, and he said he had during his career.The woman said Arevalos asked her what she had on under her coat, and she told him a dress.She said Arevalos asked her if she were alone and her friends not with her, would things be different, and she said no.The woman said it became blatantly obvious that "the only thing left was to offer myself.""It was obvious that is what he wanted," the woman testified.The woman said she was shocked and livid when she realized what Arevalos was asking of her.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 Thursday, 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.