'Crooked Cop' Anthony Arevalos Seeks Appeal

Former cop was only five days into his sentence

By Artie Ojeda, R. Stickney and Lauren Steussy
|  Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012  |  Updated 9:05 AM PDT
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Anthony Arevalos Statement at Sentencing Part 2

NBCSanDiego

Arevalos wipes away tears while asking for the court's mercy Friday.

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Watch: Ex-Cop's Tearful Apology

The former San Diego police officer wiped away tears an apologized to his victims, his family and the SDPD at his sentencing. Watch the second part of his statement here.
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The former San Diego police officer convicted on multiple felony counts of sexual battery and assault has filed an appeal.

Anthony Arevalos was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison Friday for preying on young, female drivers during traffic stops made in the Gaslamp Quarter from 2009 to 2011.

Arevalos' defense attorney Gretchen Von Helms filed the appeal just five days into his sentence.

At his sentencing Friday, Arevalos took several deep breaths, fought back tears and said "I realize how many people I've hurt and what I've done. I want to say I'm sorry to everyone I've hurt."

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm deeply remorseful and I pray for forgiveness," he said adding that he had learned his lesson and pleaded for mercy.

Victim Melissa W., who testified how Arevalo put his hand down another woman's pants and moved his hand from front to back after asking her to flash him in October 2010, called him a "sociopath."

This man abused his powers, devoid of sorrow, he has emotionally stunted me, the woman told the court.

Judge Jeffrey Fraser didn't hold back when he sentenced Arevalos saying the former officer went frrom "a protector to a predator."

"Somewhere along the line he went bad. Victims were vulnerable and had no one to call for help," Fraser said.

The judge said Arevalos used his badge to violate women.

"That's a crooked cop," Fraser said, "And crooked cops go to prison."

Arevalos was described as "a broken man" by Von Helms who argued for more than an hour that her client should be given probation and not prison time.

"You may think he's a "sexist pig,'" she said, "But he doesn't deserve state prison."

Von Helms argued that Arevalos should only receive probation, since the jury only found him guilty on 8 of 21 original counts. She added that although what Arevalos did "was wrong," the jury's reduced convictions "reduced the overall severity of the case."

Von Helms continued, saying Arevalos has shown remorse and has suffered a "free fall from a position of grace."

Prosecutors argued for the maximum possible sentence - nine years, eight months in prison - saying the former police officer kept "rolling the dice" and "finally he got caught."

Before the sentencing hearing began Friday, the judge denied Arevalos' recent request for a new trial.

When one victim was pulled over by Arevalos in September 2009, he insisted on "favors" for letting her go without a citation.

Another was told she could avoid DUI charges if she pulled down the top of her dress in January 2010. 

Click here for a timeline of the case.

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