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.
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.
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.
November 17, 2011: Jurors convict Arevalos on eight charges, acquit him on eight charges with a mistrial declared for Count 8. He was also guilty of four counts that were reduced to misdemeanors.