Ex-Cop Was "Creepy": Witness

Anthony Arevalos is charged with 21 felonies in connection with traffic stops in the Gaslamp

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cynthia Faram
    Arevalos at a March 2011 court appearance.

    Jurors in the case against a former police officer accused of sexually harassing and groping seven young women heard testimony from other witnesses who described "creepy" behavior from the defendant. 

    Former San Diego police officer Anthony Arevalos is charged with 21 felonies, for harassing seven women during traffic stops in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. Among the allegations, that Arevalos negotiated sexual favors in exchange for not issuing citations.

    “He asked me if I was wearing a bra, said I had nice boobs first and then asked if I was wearing a bra," prosecution witness Lacy White testified Tuesday.

    White said she met Arevalos more than a year ago when he gave her and a friend a ride home from downtown.

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    A young woman describes her horrifying account of a late night arrest by former San Diego police officer Anthony Arevalos. Steven Luke reports.

    The former officer had been working and was asked by a supervisor to drive the women home according to the defense.

    When Arevalos came into White's apartment, commented on her friend’s legs and touched her on the arm in a way that made her feel uncomfortable she testified.

    Ashley Steele was arrested by Arevalos for DUI in April 2010.

    When she testified Tuesday, she took off her six inch high heels at one point to give to the prosecutor as an exhibit.

    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.

    "He said that I looked good in them and that I had to keep them on," Steele testified.

    Tuesday morning's witness was Talia Tortora, who is not one of the alleged victims, testified for the prosecution.

    Arevalos cited her for driving on a suspended license, but then gave her and her female roommate a ride home.

    She said he acted quote "creepy," and made inappropriate comments about her roommate's body, then ripped up the citation.

    Defense attorney Gretchen von Helms tried to show that her client's behavior was not inappropriate.

    Arevalos did not use specific sexual words in some interactions with the women and was joking in others according to the defense.

    On Monday, an alleged victim named Marjan M. testified the former officer touched her inappropriately during a traffic stop.

    She says he cupped her breast three times while she was in handcuffs - twice making a moaning sound.

    Alleged victims claim the officer asked the women about boyfriends, breast implants, wet T-shirt contests and pubic hair.

    One a woman claimed in a pretrial hearing that she was given three breathalyzer tests and offered a deal to get out of a DUI - hand over her panties and the paperwork would disappear.

    The sixth alleged victim Melissa W. testified on Tuesday, saying Arevalos asked her inappropriate questions at a traffic stop in October 2010.

    He told her if she flashed her breasts and let him put his hands down her pants, he would let her go. She lifted up her shirt, then Arevalos put his hands down her pants and moved his hand from front to back.

    He then let Melissa W. go and called a cab for her and said, "I'll see you soon."

    The 18-year veteran of the San Diego police department has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and is free on bail.

    Trial could continue for a least another week.