Woman testifies that officer groped her during DUI stop in Gasla - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Woman testifies that officer groped her during DUI stop in Gaslamp

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A woman pulled over by a former San Diego police officer accused of trying to elicit sexual favors from women he stopped in the Gaslamp District testified Monday that the officer put his hand down her pants and cupped one of her breasts three times as she was being arrested.

Marjan M., testifying in the trial of Anthony Arevalos, said the officer pulled her over about 1:15 a.m. on Jan. 11, 2010, after she pulled out of a parking structure across from the Hard Rock Hotel, where she had been hanging out and drinking with her sister and some friends.

The witness said Arevalos told her that he smelled alcohol on her breath and ordered her back to a corner by his patrol car, where he administered some sobriety tests.

Marjan, who was 24 at the time, said she asked the officer if she could take off her high heels to do a walking test, and he responded, "No, you look good in them."

Arevalos told the woman she passed the walking and talking sobriety tests, but he had her blow into a breathalyzer twice, she testified.

After that, Arevalos told the woman that she was going on a ride with him and began to handcuff her, she said. When the woman resisted by offering the officer only one hand, he slid his hand down the back of her pants, touching her buttocks, she testified. "He said, `Easy, easy, you're in

good hands,"' Marjan testified.

After she offered her second hand to be handcuffed, Arevalos said, "You should have said, 'Officer spank me,"' saying that would have made the DUI arrest go away, she testified.

On the ride to police headquarters, Marjan said she told Arevalos she was Persian and he responded, "No wonder you have big t--s."

The woman said Arevalos cupped her right breast three different times as she got in and out of his patrol car, and twice said "umm" as he touched her.

Marjan said Arevalos also said he liked her high heels.

"He said, 'I want you with nothing on but your shoes,"' the woman testified.

On the way to jail, she said Arevalos asked her where she lived and if she would party with him.

"He said, 'You girls seem like fun girls,"' Marjan testified. "I said, 'This is all wrong."'

Marjan said her sister picked her up from jail the next day.

"I told her everything that he did to me," she testified.

The shoes she had on the night of her arrest were thrown away, she said.

"I didn't want to look at those shoes ever again," the witness testified.

She told defense attorney Jan Ronis that she overheard officers talking about a .13 percent blood-alcohol level, but Arevalos never told her the results of her breath test.

She is one of seven women -- some of whom were arrested for DUI and some who were allegedly sexually assaulted and let go -- who prosecutors plan to call in the case.

Arevalos, 41, was with the San Diego Police Department for 18 years before being fired earlier this year when the charges -- including assault under the color of authority, sexual battery by restraint, false imprisonment and soliciting or receiving a bribe -- were filed.

He faces more than 19 years in prison if convicted of 21 felony counts.

In her opening statement, Deputy District Attorney Sherry Thompson told jurors that the Gaslamp Quarter was a "board" for a game played by Arevalos -- "a game called 'What Can You Offer Me?'" -- and that he used his position of authority to barter and trade sexual favors from female alleged DUI offenders.

Ronis, in his opening statement, told jurors they should keep an open mind because the women were under the influence of alcohol at the time, which "skewed" both their perception of events and their memories.

Also, several of the women have filed claims -- the precursor to lawsuits -- pending against the city -- and two of them have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in separate cases since their allegations against Arevalos were made, Ronis said.

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