Man Claims He Was Fondled By Ex-SDPD Officer

Ex-SDPD Officer Anthony Arevalos Convicted Of Eliciting Sexual Favors At Traffic Stops

A man has come forward in the case of a former San Diego police officer convicted of using his badge to elicit sexual favors.

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"I believe he was a pervert and drunk with power and taking advantage of anyone he could," said "Tom."

On September 3, 2010, Tom said he left a downtown bar in the 700 block of G Street at around 2:30 a.m. Tom, who was 23 years old at the time, was pulled over more than a block away by Officer Anthony Arevalos for a malfunctioning license plate light.

Tom said Arevalos smelled alcohol and had him blow on a breathalyzer.

"I blew on it twice. Each time he took it back to his car and [he] said, 'It reads low battery. So why don't you come out of your car and discuss your options more,'" said Tom.

Tom told 10News he was then told to put his hands on his car's trunk and was frisked by Arevalos.

"He did a search of my upper body. He then put his hands in my groin area, squeezed it and fondled it," said Tom.

Tom said he was fondled for 3 to 5 seconds before Arevalos moved on to his buttocks area.

"He grabbed it with both hands, cupped it and squeezed it in a sexual way," said Tom. "I was shaking and my heart was racing. I was too shocked to do anything."

Soon after, Tom said another officer arrived.

Tom blew a .10 on the breathalyzer, and he was cited for a DUI. He said he did not tell anyone of the incident because he didn't think anyone would believe him.

"I didn't want to tell my family and shame my family," he told 10News.

Months later, after he pleaded no contest, Tom learned about Arevalos' arrest from his attorney.

Sources told 10News Tom was interviewed by police and prosecutors, and was subpoenaed. Tom, however, was not called to testify in Arevalos' trial.

In November, Arevalos was convicted for a series of sex crimes involving five women at traffic stops.

Tom's attorney has filed a claim against the city and San Diego police -- a precursor to a possible lawsuit. Most, if not all, of Arevalos' victims have filed similar claims.

"I think his focus was sexual urges and he used his power to assault people," said Tom's attorney, Dan Gilleon. "The search itself was improper. San Diego police protocols dictate one hand to restrain the person and the other hand conducting the search -- not a two-handed search. Also, he was not under arrest at the time and shouldn't have been frisked."

"There are people who will say this doesn't fit the pattern, this guy's after the money," 10News reporter Michael Chen said to Tom.

Tom responded, "I know what happened to me and it was wrong."

Tom said he was told by prosecutors charges would not be filed because he never told a family member.

"I think it's unfair. Just because I'm a male, I shouldn't be treated differently," Tom said.

Prosecutors declined to speak on Tom's claim, citing a policy not to comment on why charges aren't filed.

Arevalos will be sentenced in February.

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