An 18-year veteran officer with the San Diego Police Department pled not guilty on nine separate charges against him including sexual assault, bribery, sexual battery, and false imprisonment.
On Monday, the judge increased Anthony Arevalos' bail to $200,000 and he was taken back into police custody.
Arevalos, 40, allegedly propositioned a woman on March 8, after he pulled her over on suspicion of DUI. The 32-year-old woman wound up not being arrested. But the next day, she filed a report that led to Arevalos being charged with multiple counts of sexual assault 'under the color of authority.'
The prosecutor says police detectives are talking to six other women in connection with the Arevalos case.
One woman stepped forward earlier this month, accusing Arevalos of propositioning her during a traffic stop last December.
"My client was pulled over by the officer back on December 29th about 1:30 in the morning as she was coming out of the Gaslamp," said attorney Kerry Armstrong, who represents a 20-year-old San Diego State University student now studying in Europe. "He (Arevalos) made several improper suggestions to her, several questions about things they could do for her to get out of the ticket."
Armstrong says his client, whom police questioned via Skype from Austria, rejected the alleged advances.
Other lawyers say it's not uncommon for women to be propositioned by officers during traffic stops.
"I've had numerous clients over the years tell me about these suggestions and behavior," recalled attorney Marc Carlos. "Some are benign; others are not. No one's actually gone to the point of asking me to file something for them… But it does happen. And generally, they're attractive women."
Arevalos has been relieved of his badge and weapon and suspended without pay.
Detectives are now looking, with fresh eyes, at a complaint a woman filed against him early last year, which resulted in no action being taken.
Former CHP officer Craig Peyer, convicted of murdering SDSU student Cara Knott after a freeway-ramp traffic stop in 1986, made a pattern and practice of propositioning women he had pulled over, according to several women who testified against him.