Closing Arguments in West Sac Police Sexual Assault Case

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Alvarezby Antoinnette Borbon

It was a lengthy set of jury instructions this morning read by Judge Fall in regard to the charges against accused West Sacramento cop, Sergio Alvarez. Sergio is facing 28 separate counts, from sexual assault to rape, kidnap and burglary. “Some of the charges will contain enhancements with special instructions of the law,” Judge Fall explained.

It was time for Deputy District Attorney Garrett Hamilton to begin his closing argument. He began with reminding the jurors of what he had instructed on in his opening statement. He stated, “During jury selection you all agreed you would not dismiss testimony from these victims because of their lifestyle. We talked about police and what they carry to help people or intimidate. He said these people were some of the down and outers, living on the street, and in motel rooms. Some addicted to drugs and alcohol” Hamilton stated. He said, “As we look at this case, we know Sergio chose these women because of their lifestyles.” He told jurors Alvarez chose them because he believed they would not tell.

He stated, “First of all in this case we heard prior statements from the victims at the grand jury and you can believe if you want and deem them to be true.” He says that this is not a circumstantial case, but it is the thrust of the case, and he stated the circumstances are powerful evidence.

Hamilton went on to talk about each alleged victim and their testimony. He told jurors that one of the victims talked about the night she met him and in what direction she saw him headed as he made a U-turn to come back and stop her near the MetroPCS store. He stated this person had no idea the communication center was recording his route and could not have lied about it. He said we know this because we ran her name about the time she stated he stopped her. He said we also know that the date was in September because her friend had been arrested just a couple days later and the victim told this in her testimony. It all checks out, he says.

Hamilton stated, “We know Alvarez would not turn on the MAV recording system on the occasion he picked up his victims because just months earlier he was reprimanded for not using his system.” But he said, “Alvarez lied to you on the stand, he said he did not know victim #1 and did not remember ever running her name, he’s a liar!” exclaimed Hamilton, as if hammering his fist on the pulpit.

He stated we know, from the Com center documents, that he ran her name and we know it was run about the time alleged victim number #1 reported to the detective. He stated, “She had no reason to lie about what happened to her that night.”

In regard to the second victim, Hamilton stated we have her DNA, near the edge of the seat exactly where she told Detective Glenn that Alvarez penetrated her. We also have Alvarez’s seminal fluid, found on the inside panel of the rear passenger door, so we know she was in the car and left DNA on the  seat as the CSI investigator testified to finding.

Hamilton said the testimony of the third alleged victim was that she was taken to Raley Field and put on her knees where she was forced to give Alvarez oral copulation. She told detectives, after he was done with her she thought he was going to kill her, execution style. He stated then the second time was at her motel room where the defendant banged on her door to let him inside. Hamilton stated, “You all saw the video of her giving the oral copulation from the spy cam. He used his power to intimidate her and control her.” He told jurors, “And you heard her testimony, she did not want to come here to testify but she did and she talked about him being a pervert.”

Hamilton says, “And the fourth victim whose loyalty to Alvarez, he even told the same thing as the other victims did about Alvarez asking, what can you do for me? So she suggested giving him sex.” He said her testimony is a twisted reality but it still corroborates with all the other alleged victims, by certain things done and said by Alvarez.

He stated, “Why would she lie, she liked him and never thought of herself to be a victim? And she even told how he brought her a pipe full of meth as a Valentine’s Day gift, why would she lie about that?” He says, “This victim told the grand jury she had not regrets for being involved with Alvarez.”

Hamilton went on to talk about the fifth alleged victim. He stated, “You heard Alvarez tell you he ran her name and you heard it on the com center recorder and was told by dispatch she had no warrants. So why didn’t he let her go? He kept her in the car and drove to another location, questioning her about being a working girl.” He stated, “You heard him tell you that this girl, a heroin addict, got into his car and was flirting with him? Really? I think that would be the last thing an addict would do with a cop.”

Hamilton went on to say that Alvarez took the fifth alleged victim to a secluded area, told her to lie down just like he told the others to do and made her give him oral copulation, even after the victim begged and pleaded with him to just take her to jail. He said after it was over he told her to walk down a certain alley, so no one would see her.

He stated, “We know she went into the AM/PM to buy a phone charger and paid with a twenty dollar bill because we have the store clerk’s testimony and the receipt with a date and time stamped on it.” He stated, “We know she told the truth and we also have the video she made of her on her phone about how she gave oral copulation to a cop and it being unwanted.” Hamilton says, “Why would she lie? And how did she know that across the river the same thing had happened to women she did not know?”

Hamilton then wrapped up with telling the jurors what consent is and how the free will was taken once he put the victims into the back of his cop car. He states, “You have no free will if you are locked in the back of the car, there is no way out unless someone opens the door, and this is kidnap. Alvarez put these victims in the back of his car with the intent to sexually assault and rape them,” Hamilton declared. He repeated, “He can only say he did not know why they would tell these things and that he never met a couple of the victims, but there is proof he did, and he is a liar! He is a liar!”

He stated consent has to be reasonable and actual, but it was not. He put them in the risk of physical and psychological harm.

Hamilton stated, “His story is quite frankly bologna, that these women lied, why would they pick him to lie on? The victim’s stories were corroborated.”

Hamilton ended strongly, saying, “Alvarez is guilty of assault, guilty of raping them all, and he did so under duress.” He thanked them.

Closing for the defense will continue in the morning from where it left off late today.

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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12 thoughts on “Closing Arguments in West Sac Police Sexual Assault Case”

  1. Frankly

    Almost a juror in that case.

    This and other similar cases bring up a question that I have had.

    Does the job of law enforcement attract people with a tendency for reckless and risky behavior, or does the job of law enforcement erode a person’s judgement for what is reckless and risky behavior?

    I know that the anti-law enforcement group is stuck on the abuse of power argument. However, I have known too many good cops that have behaved badly or have made critical errors in judgement while on the job. I think after years of dealing with the dregs of society, a person will start to lose perspective for what socially-acceptable behavior is and should be. I think a police officer can get stuck in a trap of playing in the same sandbox they work in.

    But then cops are just people, and like all people they are subject to the same human impulses and destructive emotional pursuits that lead to falls from grace.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      My view is that in any profession where there are large numbers of people, you end up with some who use poor judgment and engage in reckless and risky behavior. There are abuses of power, there have been corrupt departments, my experience is that there are always going to be problem officers and the key is having the proper systems in place to deal with them. One of my concerns is that West Sacramento may not have enough of those in place.

    2. MyasGuy

      Can’t the same excuse be used by the “dregs” themselves, who were brought up around other dregs? They too had to play in the same sandbox with other dregs, so to speak. I would hope you would give someone that was born and raised into a criminal and/or drug ridden atmosphere the same benefit of the doubt that you would give a police officer gone bad, many of which who were raised in middle class, good homes.

      1. Frankly

        I probably was not clear. I was not making a case for leniency on this bad behavior just because he is a cop. Likewise, I don’t agree with leniency because someone grew up around dregs. I do support giving minors a second chance for non-violent crimes. And in the case where the laws are complex and ignorance plays a part, I agree that there should be leniency and second-chances. But other than that we all know what constitutes bad behavior, and when you do it knowing it is bad behavior, you are accepting the risks that you we be caught and punished.

        My point was more root cause analysis. The solution might just be counseling for the cops to make them aware of the tendency to start acting more like the people they bust.

  2. Tia Will

    Frankly

    “a person will start to lose perspective for what socially-acceptable behavior is and should be”

    We are not talking here about accidentally using too much force and twisting someone’s arm, or even pepper spraying them. We are talking about pre meditated kidnapping and rape. Do you really believe that this is just
    a “loss of perspective for what socially acceptable behavior is and should be ” ?

    “But then cops are just people, and like all people they are subject to the same human impulses and destructive emotional pursuits that lead to falls from grace.”

    While I agree that “cops are just people”, they are people to whom we cede a significant amount of power over us. To me this means that they must be held to higher standard of behavior than we expect from those to whom such power is not allotted.

    1. Frankly

      I don’t know, but I think that is one side of the story. I think the other side is that it was consensual.

      Am I missing something…. did the jury return a verdict?

  3. jimt

    Re: Frankly: ‘While I agree that “cops are just people”, they are people to whom we cede a significant amount of power over us. To me this means that they must be held to higher standard of behavior than we expect from those to whom such power is not allotted.’

    I agree with Frankly’s comment. Furthermore, I think that those in such responsible positions should, if convicted, have more severe punishment than ordinary civilians, as opposed to more leniency. Same thing goes for Wall Street and corporate executive Crooks, their punishment should be very severe (instead they usually end up just paying a fine that is only a smalll fraction of their income; and walk free; maybe home (ii.e. mansion with servants) confinement at most.)

    1. Frankly

      Frankly, it appears that you agree with Tia, not Frankly.

      Listen, if you are going to start holding people in power to a high standard, you are going to have to address more than cops. What about teachers? What about our president, governor and other politicians.? What about every supervisor or boss? What about every bureaucrat? What about the entire judicial system? Coaches, parents, doctors, therapists, ….

      The list goes on.

      The fact is that somebody always has power over someone else.

      And if we agree that coops should be held to a higher standard, I also demand that it considers the job we demand they do. It is not a job that I would do. I suspect that it is not a job you would do. It is a job that takes a certain type of person that can deal with having to deal with the worst of humanity.

      And I feel similar in response to those that sit in safety passing like judgement on our soldiers.

      Cops and soldiers ARE held to a higher standard. But are they held in consideration for the job they do?

  4. jimt

    Frankly–oops apologies, my bad, I did quote Tia in my previous post, not you.

    I single out police and executives (or major corporate/finance/government organizations) for following reasons:
    (1) Police: because they are the enforcement branch that has the most direct and immediate contact with the public, and particularly with poor people who typically have little social institutional power/influence. They are given the right to exert direct authority (by stops/arrests) over civilians, and the right to employ overpowering physical force using their own discretion; also the policeman’s word is generally given higher credibility than that of a civilian (all else being equal). When that trust to safeguard the public is betrayed, the consequences should be severe.
    (2) Executives–here I am speaking of high-level executives of large corporations, major financial institutions, and the government, (an intertwined population); including congressional ‘representatives’. I would contend they are in the positions of highest power and trust; their positions/profit are contingent on the condition that the majority of their workforce/citizens are, for the most part, “playing by the rules”; thus in my view they are honor-bound to act by a set of even higher standards; because relatively smalll infractions by these key players are leveraged to have a disproportionately large effect on the workers/citizens.

  5. Antoinnette

    Frankly….read the comments from the horses mouth; his own wife. Yes, there us a whole lot more to this story but trust me, it is not to his defensr. This man has quite a history. Too, it will be the choice of the jurors to believe the victims or not but once again…they either were given acting lessons or these girls testimonies are truthful. Pretty difficult to get five women to turn their pain on and off while telling their story…hopefully the jurors will carefully examine all the evidence and testimony to come up with a sound decision .

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