The nightmare San Diego Police Department DUI cop who traded sex for no DUI case will not go away, attorneys hear. Now the former SDPD DUI cop, a convicted sexual abuser, is asking for a new trial, say San Diego California DUI lawyers.
Here’s the San Diego Union Tribune story about this freakish DUI cop:
The former San Diego police officer serving 8 years in prison for sexually assaulting and harassing women during traffic stops is seeking a new trial. His defense lawyers say that investigators withheld a potentially key piece of evidence.
It’s the latest development in the case involving former traffic Officer Anthony Arevalos, who has been appealing his 2012 convictions for sexual battery and other charges. Prosecutors said he would ask women for sexual favors and make other unwanted advances when he stopped them for drunken driving or other violations.
In the past month, Arevalos lost one appeal of his conviction that dealt with a host of issues that occurred during his 2012 trial.
He had also filed a second appeal based on evidence that his lawyers said did not surface until after the trial.
The 4th District Court of Appeal in San Diego has ordered a hearing to determine whether Arevalos should get a new trial because that evidence — four pages of notes by the first woman to accuse Arevalos, taken a few hours after her encounter with him — was not turned over to the defense for trial, as the law requires.
Prosecutors, while acknowledging the error, said that it really doesn’t matter— that there was ample evidence of guilt and the notes would not have changed the outcome.
The notes were written by the woman, identified only as “Jane Doe” in court papers, who complained that Arevalos had her take off her panties and show him her breasts in a 7-11 bathroom in exchange for not charging her with drunken driving.
They surfaced after the trial during the discovery portion of a federal lawsuit the woman has filed against the city.
The notes, written within a day after the incident, do not say that Arevalos touched the woman’s genitals. That act was the evidence supporting the most serious charge of sexual battery that Arevalos was convicted of, and accounts for the largest portion of his sentence. They do detail how she removed her panties and showed her breasts.
The woman’s failure to include the touching allegation in a record of the incident that she made at the request of police casts doubt on whether she was sexually battered, Arevalos’ attorney Patrick Ford said in papers filed with the appeals court.
He wrote that the woman spoke to several people, including her boyfriend, in the hours after the incident and did not mention that Arevalos touched her.
Moreover, Ford argued that the notes not being provided to the defense was unfair to Arevalos. His attorney could have used them — and the fact they do not include the touching — as a way to attack the credibility of Jane Doe and the most serious charge Arevalos faced.
The law requires the government to turn over to the defense all evidence, including that which could show a defendant is not guilty.
In this case, the notes were kept by investigating Detective Lori Adams. She acknowledged in a deposition in the federal lawsuit filed by Jane Doe that she put the notes in a binder and never gave them to the prosecutors working on the case. Even though the prosecutors never had the notes, the law still holds them responsible for turning over all evidence collected by police.
The District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the new development. In court papers, Deputy District Attorney Martin Doyle said that the notes are not significant enough to alter the verdict, Jane Doe admitted when she testified at trial that she did not tell her boyfriend or others about the sexual touching, primarily out of embarrassment, he wrote.
He argued the jurors heard that she omitted this information in her initial reports to family — and still found her testimony credible. In addition, Doyle wrote, on a recorded phone call between the woman and Arevalos, the officer didn’t deny that he touched her.
Ford, the defense attorney, argued that not telling friends or family because of embarrassment is one thing. Not including the touching allegation in notes prepared at the request of police is different.
“The whole point of recording it is to make sure all the facts are there,” he said. “Embarrassment explains one, but not the other.”
No hearing has been set to hash out the significance of the notes. San Diego Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Fraser, who presided over the trial, could agree with prosecutors, effectively ending the matter. He could also order a new trial on some or all of the charges, Ford said.
Meanwhile, Jane Doe’s federal civil rights lawsuit is set to go to trial later this year. It’s one of a dozen lawsuits filed by women against the city alleging they were harassed by Arevalos. So far, the city has paid out $2.3 million total to settle those cases.