San Diego police veteran accused of eliciting sexual favors during traffic stops

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – An 18-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department Wednesday had three women accusing him of trying to elicit sexual favors during separate traffic stops.

Officer Anthony Arevalos, 40, was arrested last Friday on suspicion of sexual battery, false imprisonment and assault under the color of authority, according to SDPD Lt. Andra Brown. At the time, Arevalos was only accused by a 32-year-old woman he pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving late in the evening on March 8, as she was leaving the Gaslamp Quarter following Mardi Gras celebrations.

The woman, who was not arrested, reported the alleged crime the next day.

Since then, police have reopened an investigation stemming from a similar complaint made by a second woman in February 2010.

Then on Monday, a 21-year-old San Diego State student who is currently studying abroad, filed a new complaint against Arevalos regarding a Dec. 29 encounter, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The woman said she was pulled over about 1:30 a.m. in downtown San Diego because she had expired tags, and that Arevalos asked her to exit her vehicle before making several “inappropriate” comments, such as “What do you have under that coat?” and “We can go to my back seat,” the Union-Tribune reported.

He also allegedly said, “I don't have to take you to jail” and “We can take care of this.”

After a second officer arrived on scene, Arevalos cited the woman with driving with alcohol in her system and released her, according to the newspaper.

In 1997, the District Attorney's Office cleared Arevalos in the wounding of Laura Pinon, 18, of San Ysidro, who pointed a fake gun that looked like an Uzi at some passing cars, including police, the Union-Tribune reported.

Another officer, Art Perea, resigned earlier this month while under investigation for allegedly raping a college student in El Cajon.

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