San Diego City Council awarded a combined $245,000 on Tuesday to two women who claimed a so-called "crooked cop" sexually assaulted them.
Anthony Arevalos is serving an eight year sentence for molesting female drivers during traffic stops in the Gaslamp quarter from 2009 to 2011. The former police officer was convicted of sexual assault, battery and bribery earlier this year.
Marjan Montazemi received $170,000 on Tuesday. She told members of the press she is relieved it’s finally over.
Montazemi was 24 years old at the time of her encounter with Arevelos in the Gaslamp Quarter in January 2010.
Marjan said she was pulled over seconds after leaving a parking lot after a night of drinking at the downtown Hard Rock Hotel.
She said Arevalos arrested her after she failed a breathalyzer test and then touched her inappropriately several times during the arrest.
"I was struggling, moving around and he slided his hands down my pants and pushed my tailbone and said 'easy, easy, you're in good hands," Marjan M. testified last year.
Montazemi originally filed a filed a $7 million claim against the city of San Diego, but the jury acquitted those counts against Arevalos.
"It’s about time,” she said. “I just wish he could get charged for some of the things that he did to me, but I guess I’m satisfied."
Montazemi said she felt hurt that the city did not recognize the alleged incident, but she believes the settlement serves as a form of acknowledgment.
“He put me through so much, I wish they could consider some of the things he’d done,” she said. “I’m very satisfied coming forward, I’m not regretting it at all. I put my heart out there.”
Montazemi’s encounter with Arevalos has caused her fear and pain, she told the media on Tuesday.
“I put a couch behind my door,” she said. “When I see a police officer driving behind me I get stressed out, I don’t know what to do, it’s still hurtful and it’s not going to go away any time soon.”
When Montazemi originally visited a public defender, she said they told her that nobody would believe her story.
“What he did to me wasn’t okay,” she said. “It never will go away until I commit to it and say it’s okay.”
Her attorney Dan Gilleon said, “The city is getting off cheap in some ways,” but he hopes that Montazemi can now move forward with her life.
“She gets to move forward and do some good with the money,” he said. “But no amount of money would make this right.”