San Diego prosecutors added eight charges and two victims in the case against a police officer charged with sexually assaulting a woman during a downtown traffic stop last week.
Officer Anthony Arevalos, 40, is accused of trying to elicit sexual favors from five women during separate traffic stops between 2009 and 2011.
He is charged with 18 counts, including false imprisonment, assault under the color of authority, sexual battery by restraint and receiving a bribe.
The most recent incident took place March 8 when Arevalos, who was assigned to the Traffic Division at the time, made a DUI stop on a 31-year- old woman in the Gaslamp on March 8. When the woman registered above .08 percent on a DUI test, Arevalos asked her what she could offer him in exchange for making the charges go away, Deputy District Attorney Sherry Thompson alleged.
Arevalos was arrested March 11 and charged in that incident. Soon after, investigators released his photo asking for other potential victims to come forward.
During Wednesday's hearing, prosecutors charged Arevalos with three additional sexual battery charges and three charges of assault under the color of authority for stops he made on Jan. 10, 2010 in the Gaslamp, at SDPD headquarters and Las Colinas.
A separate victim said Arevalos pulled her over in the Gaslamp on Sept. 28, 2009. There was no alleged sexual contact during this stop but Arevalos was charged with receiving a bribe in connection with a traffic stop of a female driver.
Prosecutors would not reveal the details but did say the Jan. 10, 2010 incident was one "where touching occurred."
Other women have been interviewed but prosecutors have chosen not to file additional charges at this time. Those women may be called as witnesses in the case.
“It’s our position that once the word was out there that was a victim complaining that other people may have mischaracterized his efforts and have come forward and made these complaints that have now been incorporated in the complaint,” said Arevalos’ defense attorney Jan Ronis.
Arevalos has been relieved of his badge and weapon and suspended without pay. The 18-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department left the courthouse, free on bail. There was no bail increase added with the additional charges. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 6.
Prosecutors say if convicted of all charges, Arevalos faces up to 16 years in prison.