Walla Walla man's rape case dismissed

Juan Arevalo had been charged with raping a woman in a parking lot in October.

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WALLA WALLA -- The criminal case against a man who allegedly raped a woman in the city last October has been dismissed in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Juan Arevalo, 56, of 511 N. Sixth Ave., had been charged with second-degree rape.

But Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Mulhern wrote in a court motion that considering defenses Arevalo likely would raise at a trial, "the state is unable to prove each and every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt."

Judge John Lohrmann signed the dismissal order Monday.

Arevalo was arrested after the woman told police that on the evening of Oct. 1 she called Arevalo in order to repay a loan for drugs, he went to her house and she rode away with him in a pickup.

Eventually they ended up in the parking lot on the south side of the Plaza Safeway, 1600 Plaza Way, where Arevalo allegedly forced the woman to have sex, according to a police report filed in court.

Arevalo then reportedly drove the woman back to her residence where she called her father, who told her to phone police.

In a police interview, Arevalo acknowledged he had seen the woman that evening, but said he didn't park in the parking lot and insisted he never has had sex with her, according to the police report.

He was taken into custody, but later was released pending further court proceedings.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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