Timeline: Anthony Arevalos Sex Assault Trial

Anthony Arevalos faces 21 felony counts stemming from traffic stops made in the Gaslamp Quarter from 2009 to 2011

Cynthia Faram

Former San Diego police officer Anthony Arevalos faces 21 felony counts stemming from traffic stops made in the Gaslamp Quarter from 2009 to 2011. The following is a timeline of the incidents, charges and court proceedings.

  • Sept. 28 – 29, 2009: Melissa R. alleges Arevalos pulled her over in the Gaslamp after she drove her car the wrong way down a one-way street. She testified that Arevalos kept insisting on "favors" for letting her go. He even reminded her that he knew where she worked and would come in there to try and get his “favor” she testified at trial. There was no alleged sexual contact during this stop but Arevalos faces a felony charge of asking for a bribe stemming from this incident.
  • January 9, 2010: Melissa M. was 22 years-old when Arevalos stopped her in the Gaslamp Quarter. She said Arevalos asked if she'd be willing to pull down the top of her dress if he'd let her go. Evidence presented at trial revealed her blood alcohol level was .06, which is under the .08 limit. Felony charges stemming from this incident include asked for a bribe, false imprisonment by violence, menace, fraud and deceit.
  • January 11, 2010:  Marjan M. is stopped after leaving the Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp. While trying to cuff her, investigators allege Arevalos slipped his hand in to her pants under her thong and her butt crevice and said, “Easy, you’re in good hands now.” Marjan M. told investigators that when Arevalos put his hand on her breast, she thought it was an accident until he did it again as he moved her from the patrol car into police headquarters to take a breathalyzer test, court documents allege. While Arevalos moved her to the Las Colinas detention center, he allegedly told her she could make it all go away if he could see her naked in just her high heels.
  • February 20, 2010: A woman claimed Arevalos assaulted her in the back seat of patrol car. According to court documents, the woman filed a complaint with the San Diego police but the case was not issued for prosecution by the District Attorney’s office.
  • April 2010: Ashley Steele was arrested by Arevalos for DUI. She was wearing the heels the night of her arrest and says Arevalos refused to let her take them off during a field sobriety test. Steele testified as a prosecution witness at trial but is not one of the alleged victims.
  • October 22, 2010: Melissa W. claims that during a suspected DUI stop, Arevalos asked her about her private body parts, touched her breasts and put his hand down her pants. She testified that after she flashed him, Arevalos put his hand in her pants and moved his hand from front to back. Felony charges stemming from this incident include sexual battery by restraint, asked for a bribe, assault and battery by an officer, false imprisonment by violence, menace, fraud and deceit.
  • December 29, 2010: Jeannie E., a 20-year-old San Diego State University student, was pulled over around 1:30 a.m. as she was leaving the Gaslamp. Later, the woman, who was studying abroad at the time of Arevalos’ arrest, would testify the former officer made several improper suggestions to her, several questions about things they could do for her to get out of the ticket. Felony charges stemming from this incident include asked for a bribe, false imprisonment by violence, menace, fraud and deceit.
  • January 14, 2011: Danielle F. was stopped by Arevalos on 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp around 1 a.m. She testified she was in "panic mode" when Arevalos handcuffed her outside the Voyeur nightclub. She said Arevalos at least twice asked her what she had to "offer" him, and specifically said women sometimes offer him things so he will help them. She testified she "assumed he was talking, like, something sexually" but didn't consider "offering" him anything because she wanted to "keep my dignity." Felony charge stemming from this incident includes asked for a bribe.
  • March 8, 2011: Arevalos is accused of taking a 32-year-old woman, known in court documents as “Jane Doe” into the bathroom of the 7/11 on J Street in March, where she took off her panties and was sexually assaulted. Felony charges stemming from this incident include sexual battery by restraint, asked for a bribe, assault and battery by an officer, false imprisonment by violence, menace, fraud or deceit.
  • March 9, 2011: “Jane Doe” filed a report of the incident with the San Diego police department that led to Arevalos being charged with multiple counts of sexual assault under the color of authority. With a San Diego police detective, the alleged victim made two pretext phone calls in which Arevalos made several incriminating statements according to court documents.
  • March 11, 2011: Anthony Arevalos is arrested and charged with the March 8, 2011 incident. Investigators released his photo asking for other potential victims to come forward.
  • March 21, 2011: Arevalos pleads not guilty at his arraignment in a downtown courtroom. At the time, three traffic stops were involved although investigators said they were interviewing as many as six others as potential additional victims.
  • March 30, 2011: Prosecutors add 18 felony counts to the original complaint including three new alleged victims and charges of sexual battery, assault and bribery.
  • April 14, 2011: - The 18-year veteran's career with the San Diego Police department ends in termination. He had already been suspended without pay and relieved of his badge and firearm.
  • May 9, 2011: SDPD Chief William Lansdowne announces an "Early Identification and Intervention System" plan to add training for police supervisors and to add officers to the internal affairs unit in response to an increase in officers in trouble with the law.
  • June 20, 2011: Preliminary hearing begins. One accuser testified the former cop asked her if she was "well manicured" everywhere during a traffic stop.
  • June 21, 2011: During the preliminary hearing, several women testified they were asked about boyfriends, breast implants, wet T-shirt contests and pubic hair when stopped by Arevalos.
  • June 29, 2011: Jeannie E. files a civil suit seeking $1.1 million plus punitive damages from the City of San Diego and former officer Anthony Arevalos.
  • August 27, 2011: A civil suit is filed against the City of San Diego and Arevalos by a woman named "Emma M." claiming she was falsely arrested on March 9, 2011.
  • August 29, 2011: Marjan M. files a civil suit for an unspecified amount naming the City of San Diego and Anthony Arevalos, claiming emotional distress and severe depression.
  • September 1, 2011: "Jane Doe" claims severe mental and emotional distress and seeks an unspecified amount for pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of past and future wages as a result of the March 8 incident.
  •  October 19, 2011: Jury selection is complete.
  • October 20, 2011: Trial begins with prosecutor Sherry Thompson claiming Arevolos preyed on female DUI suspects, offering to let them go without arrest if they gave him their undergarments.
  • October 24, 2011: Detective Jamal Pasha explained how he found two pairs of women's underwear when he searched Arevalos' police locker as part of the investigation. After the department's crime lab tested the panties', investigators found DNA on the black pair belonged to a friend of Arevalos', not one of the victims. DNA from the blue panties matched neither the victim nor Arevalos's friend.
  • November 2, 2011: Prosecutors reveal at least 18 people pulled over for driving under the influence will not be prosecuted as a result of the criminal charges filed against Arevalos.
  • November 3, 2011: Prosecutors play surveillance video from a downtown 7-11 in which they say Arevalos can be seen with "Jane Doe" entering the bathroom of the convenience store and then exiting the bathroom several minutes later.
  • November 10, 2011: Closing arguments end.
  • November 14, 2011: Jurors begin first full day of deliberations.
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