A woman testified she believed a former San Diego police officer wanted sexual favors in exchange for not charging her with a DUI.
Melissa R. took the stand Tuesday in the sex assault trial involving former SDPD officer Anthony Arevalos.
Arevalos, an 18-year veteran with the department, was fired in March after his arrest.
Prosecutors claim Arevalos preyed on the women he stopped for suspicion of DUI and at times molested them while they were in his custody. He faces 21 felony charges, including assault under color of authority.
In the trial's second full day of testimony, Melissa R. described what happened when she drove her car the wrong way down a one-way street. Her vehicle registration had expired and she admitted to the then-officer that she had been drinking at her place of employment, a Gaslamp bar and restaurant.
Melissa R. testified Arevalos put her in the back of his patrol car and drove her onto San Diego police department property to administer a breathalyzer test.
After she blew into the machine a second time, Arevalos told her “’I gotcha. Now we’re going to have to work something out,’” she testified.
“I asked him what the results were but he never gave me the number,” she said.
When Arevalos put her back into the patrol car, she said she had no idea where they were going.
“I felt he was already flirting with me and I had no idea what was coming next,” she said.
She testified that Arevalos kept insisting on quote "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.
As of the day of her testimony, Melissa R. said she still does not know her blood alcohol level from that night.
Under cross-examination, Melissa R. testified Arevalos never said anything directly sexual to her and didn’t touch her physically but did tell defense attorney Jan Ronis, “I know what flirting is.”
The judge has ordered the media not to show the alleged victims' faces or use their full names.
Anthony Arevalos has pleaded not guilty. He faces 19 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
Five more women are expected to be called to testify in the case against him.
Several of those alleged victims have already filed claims or lawsuits against the police department, seeking payment for that alleged sexual abuse.
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