Recent sex crimes by San Diego police officers

Earlier this month, San Diego news sources reported that Officer Art Perea, a veteran San Diego Police Officer, was subject to a rape investigation. He was on unpaid leave after a Point Loma Nazarene University student alleged she was raped by Perea and another woman the month prior. Perea resigned from the force in March.

As reported by San Diego 6 News, “San Diego and El Cajon Police Departments are investigating one of their own.” Further, sources within the department indicated San Diego Police Chief Willaim Lansdowne was defending Perea. As usual, the inquiry is an internal one. The alleged rapist is “investigated” by his own friends, and the Police Chief sides with him. Surely, the result will be impartial and trustworthy, and serve as a shining example of the fairness and justice regularly delivered by American law enforcement and courts.

In addition, 4 other women have accused another San Diego Police Officer of sex-related crimes. One woman alleged Officer Anthony Arevalos touched her in a sexually inappropriate manner during a traffic stop in the Gaslamp Quarter. He touched her and later made inappropriate comments to her as he drove her to jail.

A San Diego State University student also reported having an abusive encounter with Arevalos. The student was pulled over and breathalized during a drunk driving traffic stop. Her blood alcohol level registered at 0.05, but because she was 20 years old, she faced a drunk driving citation. The student alleged Arevalos offered her a “deal” to make the citation go away. He asked her what she could do for him, what she was wearing under her coat, among other strange questions. After other officers arrived, Arevalos said something like, “I guess the deal is over.”

Yet another woman claimed Arevalos sexually battered her recently during a DUI stop, also in the Gaslamp Quarter. The woman did not receive any citation from Arevalos. Finally, Arevalos was accused by another woman of sexual penetration under color of authority in February 20, 2010. He was being investigated but the San Diego County District Attorney declined to file charges for lack of evidence. SDPD would not release a report or details regarding the incident, citing the ongoing investigation (Read more here).

Again, there is nothing surprising about the fact that the man was accused of sexual penetration under color of authority over a year ago, and continued to be gainfully employed as a “protector” of the public, because his friends in the DA declined to file charges, while his friends in the PD claimed to still be “investigating” the matter in March 2011. Also nothing too unexpected that his friends would refuse to release details to the public.

The silver lining in all of this, I suppose, is that after being accused by at least 4 women, Arevalos was finally arrested recently on sexual battery, false imprisonment, and assault under color of authority charges.

The whole premise of law enforcement is that they have a monopoly on such services. The public cannot withdraw funding if police are incompetent, or downright malicious. They are continually, and eternally funded through coerced taxes, and thus are disincentivized and indeed, discouraged from being held accountable for their actions.

This is not to say police are all inherently terrible people; however, uniform or not, the fact of the matter is, people tend to side with their friends and oftentimes their coworkers. This is something endemic to human nature, and arguably immutable, that minor reform, laws and changes in leadership cannot fix. As long as the public tolerates a forced monopoly on law enforcement, and looks to the police to fix the problems they themselves have created and perpetuated, there will be no progress, and there will be no justice.

Georgia Sand

Georgia (George) Sand is an attorney located in sunny California. She enjoys beer, jogging, the beach, music, and chatting with her cats in her spare time.