Timeline: Anthony Arevalos Sex Assault Trial
Anthony Arevalos faces 21 felony counts stemming from traffic stops made in the Gaslamp Quarter from 2009 to 2011
Arevalos at a March 2011 court appearance.
Former San Diego police officer Anthony Arevalos faces 21 felony counts stemming from traffic stops made in the Gaslamp Quarter from 2009 to 2011. The following is a timeline of the incidents, charges and court proceedings.
- Sept. 28 – 29, 2009: Melissa R. alleges Arevalos pulled her over in the Gaslamp after she drove her car the wrong way down a one-way street. She testified that Arevalos kept insisting on "favors" for letting her go. He even reminded her that he knew where she worked and would come in there to try and get his “favor” she testified at trial. There was no alleged sexual contact during this stop but Arevalos faces a felony charge of asking for a bribe stemming from this incident.
- February 20, 2010: A woman claimed Arevalos assaulted her in the back seat of patrol car. According to court documents, the woman filed a complaint with the San Diego police but the case was not issued for prosecution by the District Attorney’s office.
- April 2010: Ashley Steele was arrested by Arevalos for DUI. She was wearing the heels the night of her arrest and says Arevalos refused to let her take them off during a field sobriety test. Steele testified as a prosecution witness at trial but is not one of the alleged victims.
- December 29, 2010: Jeannie E., a 20-year-old San Diego State University student, was pulled over around 1:30 a.m. as she was leaving the Gaslamp. Later, the woman, who was studying abroad at the time of Arevalos’ arrest, would testify the former officer made several improper suggestions to her, several questions about things they could do for her to get out of the ticket. Felony charges stemming from this incident include asked for a bribe, false imprisonment by violence, menace, fraud and deceit.
- March 8, 2011: Arevalos is accused of taking a 32-year-old woman, known in court documents as “Jane Doe” into the bathroom of the 7/11 on J Street in March, where she took off her panties and was sexually assaulted. Felony charges stemming from this incident include sexual battery by restraint, asked for a bribe, assault and battery by an officer, false imprisonment by violence, menace, fraud or deceit.
- March 9, 2011: “Jane Doe” filed a report of the incident with the San Diego police department that led to Arevalos being charged with multiple counts of sexual assault under the color of authority. With a San Diego police detective, the alleged victim made two pretext phone calls in which Arevalos made several incriminating statements according to court documents.
- March 21, 2011: Arevalos pleads not guilty at his arraignment in a downtown courtroom. At the time, three traffic stops were involved although investigators said they were interviewing as many as six others as potential additional victims.
- March 30, 2011: Prosecutors add 18 felony counts to the original complaint including three new alleged victims and charges of sexual battery, assault and bribery.
- April 14, 2011: - The 18-year veteran's career with the San Diego Police department ends in termination. He had already been suspended without pay and relieved of his badge and firearm.
- May 9, 2011: SDPD Chief William Lansdowne announces an "Early Identification and Intervention System" plan to add training for police supervisors and to add officers to the internal affairs unit in response to an increase in officers in trouble with the law.
- August 27, 2011: A civil suit is filed against the City of San Diego and Arevalos by a woman named "Emma M." claiming she was falsely arrested on March 9, 2011.
- October 19, 2011: Jury selection is complete.
- October 20, 2011: Trial begins with prosecutor Sherry Thompson claiming Arevolos preyed on female DUI suspects, offering to let them go without arrest if they gave him their undergarments.
- October 24, 2011: Detective Jamal Pasha explained how he found two pairs of women's underwear when he searched Arevalos' police locker as part of the investigation. After the department's crime lab tested the panties', investigators found DNA on the black pair belonged to a friend of Arevalos', not one of the victims. DNA from the blue panties matched neither the victim nor Arevalos's friend.
- November 3, 2011: Prosecutors play surveillance video from a downtown 7-11 in which they say Arevalos can be seen with "Jane Doe" entering the bathroom of the convenience store and then exiting the bathroom several minutes later.
- November 10, 2011: Closing arguments end.
- November 14, 2011: Jurors begin first full day of deliberations.
- January 2013: City spends $250,000 to hire law firm to manage the final two civil cases involving Arevalos victims.
- Jan. 16: Woman known as "Jane Doe" and her attorneys want the city to hire an independent third party to "clean up corruption inside the police department." The woman, who went into a 7-Eleven bathroom with Arevalos in what she thought was a deal to get out of a traffic ticket, is a party in the last civil lawsuit against the city.
- Feb. 7: Attorneys for Arevalos claim handwritten notes held key information that could've changed the defense case if they had been handed over to them by police investigators. Jane Doe's attorney claims the notes were held back by the police department as a way to get Arevalos off on a technicality.
- Feb. 25: Judge Jeffrey Fraser vacated Arevalo’s convictions on one count of sexual battery by restraint, and one count of assault and battery by a peace officer, involving a victim identified in court as “Jane Doe."