A sexual assault victim suing the city of San Diego because her assailant was a police officer is now being portrayed in court documents as having committed a criminal act.
According to an article in today’s UT-San Diego, the city’s chief legal advocate has chosen to adopt a strategy of blaming the victim as a defense in a civil suit filed in the wake of the 2011 conviction of former SDPD officer Anthony Arevalos on charges of sexual battery, bribery and related charges.
Our tax dollars paid for a legal document filed by elected (Republican, natch) City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s office alleging that “Jane Doe” offered her underwear as a bribe to escape arrest on a drunk-driving charge on March 8, 2011.
UPDATE, 5PM WEDS: The City Attorney's office has now decided this accusation wasn't such a good idea, after all.
Jane Doe is the last of a dozen women who filed lawsuits or claims against the city alleging they were victims of sexual assault or harassment. Other claims have been settled, to the tune of more than $2.3 million.
A NBC7News timeline, including allegations by nine women against Arevalos wherein he asks for sexual favors in return for not being arrested, describes the Jane Doe incident:
March 8, 2011: Arevalos is accused of taking a 32-year-old woman, known in court documents as “Jane Doe” into the bathroom of the 7/11 on J Street in March, where she took off her panties and was sexually assaulted. Felony charges stemming from this incident include sexual battery by restraint, asked for a bribe, assault and battery by an officer, false imprisonment by violence, menace, fraud or deceit.Here are the details published in today’s UT article:
March 9, 2011: “Jane Doe” filed a report of the incident with the San Diego police department that led to Arevalos being charged with multiple counts of sexual assault under the color of authority. With a San Diego police detective, the alleged victim made two pretext phone calls in which Arevalos made several incriminating statements according to court documents.
The woman, identified only as “Jane Doe” in her civil-rights lawsuit against the city, was stopped by Arevalos in the Gaslamp for drunken driving. She testified at his trial that he asked her what she would be willing to do to make the DUI arrest go away, and he suggested she give him her panties.
The two went to a bathroom inside a nearby 7-Eleven where she removed her underwear, she testified, and Arevalos touched her before allowing her to dress.
Somehow this sequence of events, confirmed by the recorded phone calls, a security camera video and felony convictions has now morphed into:
“Plaintiff bribed Officer Arevalos with her panties to get out of the DUI. Both plaintiff and Arevalos agreed to consummate the bribe in a nearby 7-Eleven in the Gaslamp.”
Here’s the statement from Goldsmith’s office defending their actions:
“Unlike the other cases, this one remaining case has evidence that the plaintiff actually negotiated over avoiding a DUI,” the statement said. “Regardless of outrage from plaintiff’s lawyer seeking a payday, if we have to try a case our trial lawyers present the jury with the truth.”
This is the kind of legal behavior that gives rise to the saying that sharks won’t bite lawyers of out professional courtesy. This is the reason why getting rid of Jan Goldsmith- the man who brought San Diego city ridicule via the ‘chalkgate’ prosecution- in the next election should be everybody’s business.
This is the kind of blindness to the pain of sexual assaults that has no place in this world.
Please help me let the world know just how depraved a situation this is.
Parts of this post were originally published in the San Diego Free Press