A San Diego judge has granted a partial judgment in the final civil case involving corrupt ex-cop Anthony Arevalos.
Judge Michael Anello ruled that Arevalos was acting as a San Diego police officer when he allegedly sexually assaulted a female driver in a convenience store bathroom. Thus, the city is liable for Arevalos' actions while on the job.
On March 8, 2011, the victim identified in court documents as “Jane Doe” was stopped for a traffic violation by then-Officer Arevalos.
The young woman and the officer made a deal. She agreed to give him her panties so that he would not charge her for a DUI.
The two entered an East Village 7-Eleven bathroom where the woman surrendered her panties.
What happened in the bathroom has been disputed. “Jane Doe” claims Arevalos touched and rubbed her genitals.
A Superior Court judge threw out two criminal counts involving that allegation because of a violation on how evidence was shared between legal teams prior to Arevalos’ trial.
Judge Anello ruled that what happened with the sexual assault allegations in the criminal court has no effect on the civil case.
“The evidence before the Court - even absent proof of Arevalos’ criminal conviction - undisputably demonstrates that Arevalos touched an intimate part of Doe’s body. The reversal of Arevalos’ criminal conviction has no bearing on the clear state of the evidence before the Court,” Anello ruled.
Anello referred to a recording between Arevalos and “Jane Doe” in which the former officer said, “the instant moment that I touched you, the skin texture, the temperature, the way it felt, everything was like perfect.”
The judge ruled that Arevalos was in uniform and on duty – in the course and scope of his job – at the time of the sexual assault.
The city attorney's office released a statement in response to Monday's ruling:
The Court’s ruling is not a surprise. Arevalos was in uniform and on duty when he went into the bathroom of the 7-Eleven with Jane Doe. The City paid a total of $2.3 million in settlement to the other 12 victims of Arevalos because the City recognized its responsibility. This lawsuit is about the amount of money that Jane Doe will be paid. Since the City and Jane Doe were unable to agree on a settlement amount, it is up to the jury to determine what her appropriate damages are for the conduct that the Court ruled on today.
The ruling shuts down the city's argument that Jane Doe shares fault for entering into a 'deal' with Arevalos.
Jane Doe’s testimony was pivotal in the prosecution’s case against Arevalos.
The former officer was convicted in 2011 of sexual battery by restraint, bribery and assault and battery by police involving five women.
Following his sentence to eight years in prison, the City of San Diego faced several civil suits from the former cop’s victims. All but one were settled.
What Monday's ruling did not address was the part of Jane Doe's federal lawsuit against the city that demands an outside monitor of the San Diego police procedures and policies.
Jane Doe's civil suit is scheduled for trial in federal court July 8.