The San Diego City Council approved a $675,000 settlement Tuesday with a woman who testified she was fondled by a San Diego police officer during a traffic stop in October 2010.
Without discussion, the council approved the agreement with a woman who was identified during the trial of former San Diego police Officer Anthony Arevalos as Melissa W. In closed session, the council also discussed lawsuits filed by two other women over Arevalos' actions, but did not take any notable action, according to the City Attorney's Office.
The officer was convicted of eight felony and four misdemeanor charges involving five women, including multiple counts of sexual battery by restraint, asking for a bribe and assault and battery by a police officer. He was sentenced to nearly nine years in prison.
Melissa W. testified in the officer's trial that she was stopped by Arevalos 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.
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."
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.
The woman, then 30, said she called police as soon as news of the officer's arrest broke.
The closed session items that were discussed involved victims identified as Marjan M. and Danielle F.
-City News Service