Third day of deliberations in ex-cop sex trial ends early, jury - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Third day of deliberations in ex-cop sex trial ends early, jury to resume Thursday

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Jurors in the trial of a former San Diego police officer accused of trying to elicit sex from seven women he pulled over in the Gaslamp District went home early Wednesday without reaching a verdict.

The jury in the Anthony Arevalos case deliberated for about three hours Wednesday before adjourning early because one of the panelists had a previous commitment. The panel will begin its fourth day of deliberations on Thursday morning.

On Tuesday, the jury listened to read-back of testimony from three alleged sexual abuse victims.

Arevalos, 41, is charged with assault under the color of authority, sexual battery by restraint, soliciting or receiving a bribe and false imprisonment by force or fear. He faces more than 19 years in prison if convicted on all 21 felony counts.

The 18-year SDPD veteran was fired after allegations came to light in March that he tried to make a deal with women he stopped and sexually assaulted three of them. Most of the stops in question were for driving under the influence and happened between September 2009 and March of this year.

In her closing argument last week, Deputy District Attorney Sherry Thompson said Arevalos "used the Gaslamp like a playground to stop people as he saw fit."

Thompson told jurors that Arevalos asked the women "What can you offer to get out of a DUI?"

Defense attorney Gretchen von Helms told the jury in her closing argument that there was reasonable doubt on many of the charges, saying some counts could be construed as misdemeanor conduct.

Von Helms said most of the alleged victims were drunk and their testimony exaggerated.

The attorney said some of the alleged victims sought benefits for their testimony, such as getting their DUI cases dismissed, while some have a vested interest in the outcome of the criminal case because they have filed claims against the city seeking monetary damages.

 

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