Woman Says Ex-Officer Sexually Assaulted Her In Restroom

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

A woman testified on Thursday that a former San Diego police officer sexually assaulted her in a 7-Eleven restroom after pulling her over following a Mardi Gras parade in the Gaslamp Quarter downtown.

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The woman took the witness stand in the trial of Anthony Arevalos, who is charged with sexually assaulting or trying to elicit sexual favors from seven women he stopped between September 2009 and early this year.

She testified that Arevalos said he stopped her just before 11 p.m. last March 8 because she didn't use her turn signal.

When she disagreed, the officer asked her if she had been drinking, and she said she hadn't had any drinks for three hours.

The woman said Arevalos had her blow into a portable breathalyzer, and she was "shocked" and "surprised" that the result was .09 percent.

"He said, 'Don't worry, there's still options," she testified.

She said she asked if she could call work to tell them she was running late, and Arevalos told her to tell her employer that she was stuck in traffic because of a DUI accident.

The woman said Arevalos had her blow into a breathalyzer in the trunk of his patrol car, and it registered .08 percent, but a second blow registered .09 percent.

"I started freaking out," the woman said. "He said, 'We might be able to work something out."'

When asked what she would be willing to do to get out of a DUI, she said she told the officer "I don't know what you want."

She said the officer told her that someone else had given him a bra and panties, but she said she didn't want to give him her bra because she had just paid $70 for it.

"He said, 'What about your panties? Are they matching?"' the woman testified.

When she said the bra and panties didn't match, Arevalos said, "'OK, I'll take your panties,'" she testified.

She said Arevalos had her drive to a nearby 7-Eleven, and she went inside to use the restroom to take off her panties to give to the officer.

To her surprise, Arevalos followed her into the restroom and shut the door, she testified.

The woman said she cried as she stood in front of the toilet and took off her pants and panties.

She said Arevalos told her she had really nice breasts and he wanted to see them, so she pulled up her shirt and bra and flashed him.

The woman said Arevalos came over to her and put his finger in her vaginal area.

She said the officer put his arm around her and said, "It'll be better if you lean against me."

The woman said Arevalos asked if she wanted her panties back, and she said no.

Once outside, she said she blew into a portable breathalyzer and it registered .07 percent.

She said Arevalos told her it would take 30 days for the breathalyzer readings to go away and he would "make up a story" about what happened.

She said the officer asked for her number and told her the incident was "just between us."

Asked how long the entire ordeal took, the woman said "It felt like a million years."

The woman said she didn't report the incident right away because she was afraid she could still get a DUI, but soon after told police investigators what happened.

The prosecution also played two phone calls for the jury in court on Thursday. Both calls were recorded by police detectives the day after the alleged incident between the woman and Arevalos. In those calls, the woman is trying to get Arevalos to admit what happened between them.

During the conversation, Arevalos is heard telling the woman not to worry about what happened, saying he is taking care of it. On the recording, Arevalos says he is not turning in the paperwork and that in 30 days the results of her breathalyzer test will no longer be accessible.

When she asked if he liked their time in the 7-Eleven bathroom, Arevalos answered, "I would have liked it longer, but I wanted you to be relaxed."

The woman, who was often joking during the conversation, said Arevalos intimidated her and that she had never been with an officer before.

During the conversation, she repeatedly asked him what he liked best about their encounter and her body. Arevalos responded, "What I liked the best is when the shirt came up and the pants went down. I didn't expect your body to be as wonderful as it was."

"Did I turn you on?" she asked. "Did you like it?"

"Yes," responded Arevalos, who was on-duty during the 30-minute call.

Arevalos, 41, 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?" -- and that he used his position of authority to barter and trade sexual favors from female alleged DUI offenders.

Defense attorney Jan Ronis countered that jurors 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.

Several of the women also have filed claims -- the precursor to lawsuits -- 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.

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