Woman Files $5.5 Million Claim Against City

Claimant Alleges Former SDPD Officer Anthony Arevalos Sexually Assaulted Her

A woman has filed a $5.5 million claim against the city of San Diego, alleging a former San Diego police officer sexually assaulted her.

The claim, obtained by 10News, alleges former SDPD officer Anthony Arevalos pulled over another woman at Seventh and Island Avenues and sexually assaulted her in December.

San Diego defense attorney Marc Kohnen told 10News he is expecting big future business for him after the $5.5 million claim was filed against the city, SDPD Police Chief William Lansdowne and former officer Arevalos.

"I expect other victims to come forward and start their own claim," said Kohnen. "Right now, it's a question as a matter of proof as how much money officer Arevalos may cost the city… Who knows what this is going to turn into?"

Arevalos was fired from the force in April and faces 18 criminal counts for requesting sexual favors of multiple women in exchange for ignoring traffic offenses.

The claim seeks damages for emotional distress, assault, battery and false imprisonment and also alleges the city's "policies, procedures, customs and practices of inaction and cover-up" encouraged officers, including Arevalos, to believe that such sexual assaults were allowed "in particular against individuals of minority groups."

"These were not followed up. They were not investigated. They were buried… Higher-up supervisors should have known about this [and] should've taken action and should've terminated employees when appropriate," said Kohnen.

The claim also alleges that the city, Lansdowne and Arevalos discriminated against the claimant because she was black.

Neither the claimant nor her attorney returned 10News' calls for comment.

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