The ex-San Diego police officer whose sex crimes against women cost the City of San Diego millions in legal settlements was released from a South Bay prison Monday.
Anthony Arevalos, who was sentenced to eight years, was released from Donovan Correctional Facility after serving four years with credit for good time.
Arevalos was convicted of sexual battery, assault and asking for bribes in 2012. He preyed on young, female drivers during traffic stops made in the Gaslamp Quarter from 2009 to 2011.
“I just learned this an hour and a half ago and it immediately, you get kinda goosebumps. It’s eerie,” Talia Tortora told NBC 7.
Tortora identifies herself as Arevalos' first victim. She testified that the 18-year veteran police officer cited her for a suspended license, then drove her and a friend back to their apartment and made sexual advances toward both of them.
“So many people will just try to heal from this in a much longer time than he spent in jail. It seems like a slap on the wrist for him,” she said.
Attorney Dan Gilleon said he represented eight of Arevalos' victims.
Arevalos was convicted of eight felonies and four misdemeanors, for sexually assaulting and harassing women during traffic stops in the Gaslamp Quarter while he was wearing an SDPD uniform.
“He is going to be out there. If he changes his name or changes his look he will blend in,” Gillian said.
When one victim was pulled over by Arevalos in September 2009, he insisted on "favors" for letting her go without a citation.
He told another woman she could avoid DUI charges if she pulled down the top of her dress in January 2010.
The former officer 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.
He was found guilty of felony sexual battery by restraint and assault and battery by an officer when he took a 32-year-old woman, known as “Jane Doe” in court documents, into a 7/11 bathroom downtown on Mardi Gras and sexually assaulted her while in full uniform.
Defense attorney Gretchen Von Helms represented Arevalos. She said he's served his full sentence, that the crimes in which the former cop was convicted did not reach the level of mandatory sex offender status.
“He was a humiliated broken man. He wept openly at his sentencing hearing. He profusely apologized to every one of the victim witnesses he had injured,” Von Helms said.
NBC 7 reached out to County probation for the terms of Arevalos' parole, but the details were not readily available.
Von Helms said her client will have to report regularly and his parole will likely include severe restrictions for up to four years.
His convictions will prevent him from ever getting a job in law enforcement.