Veteran officer accused of soliciting sexual favors from women at traffic stops

A veteran San Diego Police officer was in court Monday to face serious allegations, including charges of sexual battery and receiving bribes. KUSI's Ed Lenderman was there and reports on the latest.

The case involves allegations from young women he stopped. This is the first time we've seen 40-year-old officer Anthony Arevalos in court since a woman claimed he sexually assaulted her after last week's downtown Mardi Gras celebration. But his not guilty plea Monday involved allegations from three women, two of whom came forward after San Diego Police released Arevalos' photograph. In fact, the prosecutor says nine women are now part of the investigation and that more charges will soon be filed. The 10 counts so far include sexual battery and receiving bribes.

“This is a case of an on-duty officer requesting sexual favors in return for the release of individuals involved in drunk driving cases,” said Deputy District Attorney Sherry Thompson.

Deputy D.A. Thompson says the March 8th Mardi Gras incident is similar to the two others. In each case, Arevelos allegedly pulled over a young woman suspected of driving under the influence.   Thompson says Arevalos then explained the driver shouldn't worry, she had other options.

“He asked her what it was worth to get out of the arrest,” said Thompson.

After moving to a separate location, “he continued to tell her he would need something for the case to go away, she asked what, he said another woman had given him her bra and panties,” Thomson added.

The Deputy D.A. says after the woman removed her underwear, the officer touched her inappropriately.

Arevalos was led away in handcuffs after the judge increased his bail from $95,000 to $200,000. His attorney called it excessive and says the police department has trashed the 18-year career of a highly thought of officer by going with little fact and a lot of innuendo.

The prosecution says this may not be just a she said, he said case. The D.A. is looking at security camera video at the 7-11 store where Arevalos allegedly took the woman in the March 8th incident and it's also looking into possible DNA evidence.

Arevalos is on unpaid suspension. His police powers have been revoked.

Categories: KUSI