One woman after another testifying against ex-cop - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

One woman after another testifying against ex-cop

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SAN DIEGO (CNS / CBS 8) - Testimony continues Wednesday in the trial of a former San Diego police officer accused of soliciting sexual favors from women.

A woman, pulled over by former San Diego police officer Anthony Arevalos accused of trying to elicit sexual favors from women he stopped in the Gaslamp District, testified Tuesday that she "flashed" her breasts and let him put his hand down her pants after he said he would let her go if she did so.

Melissa W., testifying in the trial of Anthony Arevalos, testified that he pulled her over immediately after she pulled out of a parking spot sometime after 2 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2010.

The woman said she had a few drinks at a nearby club and walked around downtown with friends before getting into her car.

She said Arevalos told her that he pulled her over because she was stopped too long at a stop sign and he suspected her of drunken driving. She said she told the officer that he couldn't legalqly make her exit the car or blow into a breathalyzer.

The woman testified that she started crying, and was pulling on her shirt because she was cold, when Arevalos said, "Let me ask you something. Are your breasts real?"

When she answered "no," the woman said Arevalos asked her if she modeled or had been in any wet T-shirt contests, to which she also answered "no."

"He asked me if I was well-manicured everywhere," the woman testified, saying the officer then asked her to tell him more about herself and said, "What are we going to do about this (DUI stop)?"

She said the officer asked to see photos of her and her boyfriend, then shoved a breathalyzer into her nipple and said, "Can you feel that? Does that feel good?"

"I said no, it kinda hurts," the woman responded.

She said Arevalos told her that if she showed her breasts and let him put his hand down her pants, he would let her go, so she stared straight ahead and let him reach into her jeans and touch her private parts.

Arevalos then hailed a taxi for her and told the cabbie, "Take good care of her," while telling her, "We'll talk soon," she said.

Once in the cab, the woman said she immediately called her boyfriend and said, "You are never gonna believe what just happened to me."

The woman, who was 30 at the time, said she called police after news of Arevalos' arrest broke in March.

She also said she mentioned the incident with Arevalos to another officer when she was pulled over last month.

"If I see a police officer drive by, I immediately think of October 22nd and what he did to me," she said, breaking down on the witness stand.

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.

The charges involve seven women who were stopped by Arevalos between September 2009 and March of this year.

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.

Defense attorney Jan Ronis countered that jurors 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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