New woman comes forward in SDPD traffic cop sex case - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

New woman comes forward in SDPD traffic cop sex case

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By David Gotfredson

SAN DIEGO, Calif.  (CBS 8) -- Another woman has come forward with allegations that a San Diego police officer made sexual advances toward her during a drunk driving traffic stop.

The San Diego State University student says traffic officer Anthony Arevalos, 40, pulled her over last year and suggested she get into the back seat with him.

News 8 is not identifying the 21-year-old student because she is an aspiring model and her image and reputation are important to her.

Defense attorney Kerry Armstrong is representing the woman.

"She is very attractive, very athletic and plays sports. I think that's one of the reasons he pulled her over," Armstrong said.

Officer Arevalos stopped the woman near 11th Ave. and B St. on Dec. 29, just five blocks away from the San Diego Police Department's downtown headquarters. The woman was leaving the Gaslamp Quarter after a night of partying.

"He started asking her some questions (like), ‘What can you offer me? What can we do? Would you like to go to the back seat of the patrol car?'" Armstrong said.

Armstrong said the officer suggested the woman accompany him to a darker area.

"She was also wearing a coat because it was cold outside and he asked her what she had on under the coat," Armstrong said. "Just very inappropriate questions that an officer should not ask somebody that he pulled over."

In a police report obtained by News 8, Officer Arevalos wrote that he stopped the woman after she "changed 3 lanes of traffic without signaling" and because "the registration to her vehicle was also expired."

A field breath test administered by Arevalos showed the woman's blood alcohol level at .05, which is under the legal limit of .08. But because the woman was age 20 at the time, she was still facing a drunk driving citation.

That's when the woman claims Officer Arevalos offered her a deal to make the citation go away.

"After 40 to 45 minutes a second officer pulled up," Armstrong said. "At that time, (Officer Arevalos) said something to the effect, ‘I guess the deal is over.'"

News 8 tried to get a response from Officer Arevalos at his Chula Vista home but he declined comment and quickly got into his vehicle and sped away.

Arevalos is currently free on bail after a different woman claimed he sexually battered her just last week during a DUI stop, also in the Gaslamp Quarter. That woman did not receive a citation during the March 8 incident, according to SDPD officials.

News 8 has learned Officer Arevalos was also investigated after a Feb. 20, 2010 incident where he was accused of sexual penetration under color of authority, according to court records.

The San Diego Police Department declined to release a report or any details of that incident, citing the ongoing investigation. The San Diego County District Attorney declined to file charges in that earlier case for a lack of evidence, officials said.

"It looks like a pattern that this officer is trying to pick up younger girls who are drunk or who have had some alcohol coming out of the Gaslamp at 1:30 or 2 in the morning. It looks horrible," Armstrong said.

Armstrong's client currently is studying in Europe, but the attorney said the woman did file a complaint against Officer Arevalos by telephone on Monday.

The woman received a citation for being under age 21 and driving a vehicle with more than a .05 blood alcohol level. Armstrong is hopeful the charge will be dismissed given the circumstances of the arrest and the current charges Officer Arevalos is facing.

Arevalos is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, after his arrest last week on sexual battery, false imprisonment, and assault under color of authority charges.

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