Christopher Hays and Anthony Arevalos
  • Christopher Hays and Anthony Arevalos
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There are unwritten codes in the San Diego Police Department, a so-called "two-tiered system of justice," where officers become untouchable and above the law. That system has served as an incubator for sexually violent predators to remain on the force, alleges a new lawsuit filed against the city, the San Diego Police Department, and former officer Christopher Hays, who is now awaiting trial for sexually assaulting and harassing several women while in uniform.

The lawsuit, brought by three alleged victims, says the unwritten law dates as far back as 1999, when reports of sexual misconduct by officer Anthony Arevalos began circulating around the department. At the time, claims the lawsuit, Arevalos openly bragged about, and flaunted pictures, of a "mentally deranged young woman" penetrating herself with his department-issued baton. In the following years, Arevalos continued to harass and assault women he stopped for traffic violations going so far as making a photo album with pictures of women giving him oral sex in the back of his police cruiser and of them bending over for him. At least one officer came forward to complain about the behavior. Supervisors swept it under the rug.

"This [San Diego Police Department] ‘unwritten policy’ included not ticketing [police officers] stopped for vehicle code violations, including DUI, and also fixing tickets for officers, as well as other law-enforcement officers and officials. This ‘unwritten policy’ also manifested itself with police officers and supervisory officials discouraging fellow police officers from reporting instances of suspected police officer misconduct to their supervisors."

The secret code went up the chain of command, writes attorney Dan Gilleon in the complaint. Gilleon says any reports were quickly and quietly quashed before making their way to a review board, the mayor's desk, or leaked to the media.

In addition, favoritism and nepotism inside the force allowed for substandard cadets to be allowed on the force. That, says the lawsuit, was the case of officer Christopher Hays, whose father-in-law is now assistant chief Mark Jones.

With his father-in-law vouching for him and officers such as Arevalos paving the way, Christopher Hays was free to behave as he wished.

The complaints against Hays includes an instance of one woman who was sitting in the passenger’s seat of a stalled vehicle after a night of drinking with friends when Officer Hays pulled up behind her. He later gave her a ride home and during that ride threatened her with arrest if she didn't perform oral sex on him. She did. Another claims Hays was one of the officers to come to her home following a domestic disturbance complaint. After the other officers left, Hays cornered the woman and began to masturbate in front of her. She objected. For the following weeks, the woman says she was terrified after seeing a police cruiser circling her home, flashing the spotlight inside.

Hays, through others, has denied any wrongdoing. His wife has given interviews, saying she believes the complaints are tied to the fact that her father is a high-ranking officer. The criminal trial is now under way. The civil trial will follow shortly after.

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Comments

jnojr June 19, 2014 @ 4:05 p.m.

Even if all of this is true, the taxpayers of San Diego did nothing wrong. Lawsuits need to be against INDIVIDUALS who performed bad deeds. We should let the public off the hook and put bad, crooked "public servants" on it, even if that means victims can't receive huge cash payouts.

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frankG June 20, 2014 @ 10:37 a.m.

There are changes that need to be made to SDPD. They will not make these changes if they are not hit hard in the wallet. The Victims should be compensated and the bad cops need to go to jail. When we see the facts of these case it is discussing. What if your family member was force to give blow jobs to police? This is not legal! They are police! Make some changes. The good men and women on the police force do not want to be working with criminals. Think about this even when they report a bad cop the superiors did not take action.

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Saikali June 26, 2014 @ 8:30 a.m.

The San Diego Police Department IS an example of organized crime. The public hears few of the countless stories of injustice abuse by the criminals (also called "cops") in the force. Furthermore, these criminals are protected by a corrupt legal system that almost always grants immunity to cops so that they can do just about anything they please.

The so-called oversight of the police within the force is by other dirty cops. Beyond the force, the offices of the city attorney (run by criminal Jan Goldsmith) and district attorney (run by criminal Bonnie Dumanis) provide whatever counsel and legal services are needed for these vermin to continue harming the public. The mayor's office and city council are also part of the problem. Todd Gloria did nothing about corruption and neither has Kevin Faulconer.

This problem is occurring around the country. If you grew up being taught that police exist to protect and serve us (the public), wake up to the reality that police protect their own, their friends, and those in government, and they certainly do NOT serve us.

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