NBC 7's Elena Gomez reports from outside a downtown courthouse where attorneys argue the notes from a key witness in the Anthony Arevalos trial could've changed the sentencing in the case.
Attorneys for a former police officer who preyed on female drivers in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter argue witness notes kept from the defense could’ve made a difference in the officer’s trial.
Meanwhile, one victim's attorney claims the notes were held back by the police department as a way to get Arevalos off on a technicality.
Four pages of notes written by the victim in the Anthony Arevalos case were the subject of an evidentiary hearing Friday.
Arevalos was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison after jurors convicted him on multiple counts of sexual battery and assault.
The former officer pulled over female drivers from 2009 to 2011 and asked for favors in exchange for letting them out of traffic citations.
However, it was the March 8, 2011 incident between Arevalos and the victim identified only as “Jane Doe” that led to his arrest and an investigation.
Jane Doe used the written pages to tell police investigators what happened the night Arevalos followed her into a 7-Eleven bathroom.
The notes state that Arevalos asked her to turn over her bra and panties in the car or go to 7-Eleven and show him her breasts.
In the trial, Jane Doe testified that Arevalos touched her private parts.
Defense attorney Gretchen von Helms, who testified she saw the notes last night, said that had the notes been turned over, it could have changed the sentencing in the case.
“I would’ve used these notes to impeach her on the fact that any touching occurred,” Von Helms said.
Jane Doe's attorney said the San Diego Police Department knew about the notes.
He claims they failed to turn them over so that there would be grounds for an appeal and that Arevalos could get out of his prison sentence for this technicality.
The San Diego mayor’s office and District Attorney’s office would not comment regarding the allegations of corruption and cover-up because it’s all part of an appeal, as well as part of the ongoing civil litigation.