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Politics

Council Approves $5.9M Settlement For Victim Of Former SDPD Officer

A screen grab of video of ex-San Diego Police Officer Anthony Arevalos.
Channel 10 News
A screen grab of video of ex-San Diego Police Officer Anthony Arevalos.

City Council unanimously approved Tuesday a $5.9 million legal settlement for a woman who was sexually assaulted by a then-San Diego police officer in the Gaslamp Quarter three years ago.

The settlement, outlined last month, brings an end to civil litigation involving former SDPD Officer Anthony Arevalos, who was convicted of felony counts involving the woman and several other victims and sentenced to prison.

City Council voted 7-0 in favor of the settlement, with Councilwoman Lorie Zapf and Councilman David Alvarez absent.

The woman, identified throughout the proceedings only as Jane Doe, testified in Arevalos' criminal trial that he demanded sexual favors from her in a convenience store restroom.

Because of the nature of the officer's actions, city officials had feared that the woman could have won a large jury award if the case went to trial.

Instead, the city's insurance carriers will pick up around $5.7 million of the settlement, leaving the city to pay around $200,000, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said. He said that in all the Arevalos cases combined, including 14 settlements and expenses, the city had to shell out around $4 million.

The City Council agenda item says seven council members authorized the settlement offer at a closed-session meeting that took place on Aug. 7. However, the City Attorney's Office did not disclose any reportable actions in the public session that followed.

A spokesman for the City Attorney's Office said the closed session didn't need to be reported publicly because the settlement wasn't final at that time.

Lawyers for the city, its insurance company and the plaintiff held a news conference on Sept. 25 to announce the deal.