Alleged officer abuse victim speaks out

Sitting with her mother in the office of her attorney, Marjan Montazemi described an encounter with a San Diego police officer in the Gaslamp Quarter in January of 2010.

“When he was putting the handcuffs on me, he violated me with his hand down in my pants,” said Montazemi, “and then he made a comment that 'you should say officer spank me, then I can make this go away.'”

Montazemi says that officer was Anthony Arevalos. When the San Diego Police Department was rocked by a spate of officer misconduct earlier this year, the 40-year-old Arevalos and the allegations against him were front and center.

Last month, Arevalos, who has since been fired, was ordered to stand trial on almost two dozen felony charges. The allegations are that he elicited sexual favors from women during traffic stops. Authorities say he promised to let them go if they complied. Five women, including Montazemi, testified against him during a preliminary hearing.

“He put his hand down my pants from the back and said 'easy, easy, you're in good hands,'” said Montazemi.

She says Arevalos also fondled her breasts several times before and after taking her to the police station for an alleged DUI. Even though she pled guilty to the charge on the advice of her public defender, she disputes the breathalyzer test, saying she'd only had one-and-a-half drinks.

Attorney Dan Gilleon says there's no question Arevalos targeted his client without cause as she left a Gaslamp nightspot. The question is why didn't she report the incident at the time?

“What he said was 'no one's going to believe you,' implying he can get away with it,” said Gilleon. “Then he said 'I know where you live.'”

The claim against Arevalos and the City for alleged sexual battery and assault is a prelude to a lawsuit. Gilleon says they'll be asking for seven figures.

Montazemi says the encounter changed her life.

“He's out there and I'm terrified, scared he's going to come after me.”

Categories: KUSI