A former CHP officer accused of fixing a speeding ticket in return for sexual favors was scheduled to take the stand again Thursday.
“My job at times is very boring. I do strike up conversations with both men and women stops. I am not flirting with them; I am not trying to foster relationships with them,” Carabajal said in court on Wedneday.
Abram Carabajal, 53, said he had an extramarital affair, not an illegal relationship, with Shirin Zarrindej.
"She said very rosy things men like to hear," Carabajal said. "I had to admit I liked talking to her."
Prosecutors claim Carabajal had a ticket dismissed for 47-year old Zarrindej in exchange for sex. Both are accused of bribery, conspiracy and perjury.
Carabajal made the traffic stop on March 12, 2008 and cited
During the three and a half months between the citation and the hearing where the ticket was dismissed, the pair exchanged 40 phone calls and spent more than 14 hours talking.
On July 1, 2008, the ticket was dismissed on Carabajal's request, prosecutors said.
The former CHP officer and Zarrindej then drove separately to the Guesthouse Inn in Oceanside. The desk clerk describes them as walking arm-in-arm and looking "cutesy lovey dovey,” according to investigators.
Zarrindej faces similar charges of bribery, perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice. In 1998 Zarrindej offered a $2000 bribe to another law enforcement officer to fix a ticket, prosecutors alleged Monday. That bribe was never paid.
Carabajal's lawyer says Carabajal only dismissed a ticket, which is not a crime. He also said Carabajal really had romantic feelings for Zarrindej, which maybe inappropriate but was not illegal.
Zirrandej's lawyer says Carabajal tried to pick up other women this way. But Zirrandej, unlike the others, was in love with Carabajal. And the "meeting" at the hotel was not the only time the got together.
So she did not commit any crimes.
On Tuesday, two new witnesses testified that Carabajal gave them his phone number after being pulled over for speeding.
“I asked him how do I go about the court process and stuff, because it’s been a while, and so that's when he gave me his business card and said to call him,” Samantha West said.
Carabajal asked for West’s ticket to be dismissed in court and later approached her in the hallway, she said.
“He told me I don’t have a ticket anymore,” West said. “He said I looked nice today and that I was cute.”
Carabajal faces five years and four months in prison if convicted of bribery, perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice charges.