A former San Diego police officer imprisoned for sex crimes feels he has been mischaracterized as a sexual predator, his attorney said Thursday.
Anthony Arevalos is relieved he won’t carry a sex offender registration requirement now that a judge has dropped two of the most severe counts against him, according to an attorney handling his appeal.
Judge Jeffrey Fraser issued a stay in the case Thursday after Arevalos’s attorney requested a re-sentencing.
The former police officer is serving a prison sentence for sexual battery and false imprisonment charges he committed while in uniform as a police officer patrolling the Gaslamp.
According to attorney Pat Ford, Arevalos is pleased the story is getting out that he may have been a bad cop, but that he’s not someone who would sexually take advantage of someone.
“He’s always been crushed by the storyline that he had done more than essentially propositioned women that he stopped,” Ford said.
Judge Fraser granted a stay and kept the status quo in effect while waiting for the appeals court decision on a recent ruling dropping two charges involving the victim known in court records as Jane Doe.
Last month the same judge threw out two convictions because not all the evidence was shared with the defense team. Specifically – handwritten notes regarding the meeting of Arevalos and accuser Jane Doe inside a 7-Eleven bathroom.
Jane Doe testified in court that Arevalos touched her vagina while in the bathroom but that fact cannot be found in the notes that were prepared before trial.
Arevalos' criminal defense attorney Gretchen von Helms said if she had known about the notes, she could have used them in cross examination to impeach the witness.
Outside court Thursday, Ford described the incident as “the hiding of evidence” that was “a product of decisions made by a detective of the San Diego police department.”
He added that when the state is caught cheating – intentionally or unintentionally – a clear message should be sent with a resentencing.
Even though the defense argued the appeal process may run longer than the sentence, Judge Fraser said he would cross that bridge when and if he came to it and refused to schedule a resentencing.
Ford said he expects his client to be due for release in September.
“He’s a very good lawyer but not a very good mathematician,” said Deputy District Attorney Martin Doyle said of Ford’s estimate.
According to Doyle, added that the DA’s office will wait to learn the result of the appeals process. He said if the ruling vacating the two counts stands on appeal, the DA's office may decide to retry Arevalos on those counts.