Attorney Robert Yousefian has brought suit against two Glendale (Cal.) police officers and his estranged wife in a case that reads like a made-for-tv movie. Yousefian was arrested on drug and assault charges by Glendale Police Officer Michael Lizarraga, whom was allegedly having an affair with Yousefian’s wife. He was prosecuted and acquitted of all charges and claims that his wife, Lizarraga, and police Det. Petros Kmbikyan conspired to set him up.
Yousefian was subject to a 35-month investigation and trial. Prosecutors persisted in trying the case despite the allegation that the arresting officer had a suspicious affair with the wife of the man he arrested. If the prosecutors were not informed of the alleged relationship, it should be grounds for termination of the officer (if true).
On Aug. 19, 2007, Yousefian had called his in-laws to find out where his wife and his children were. His father-in-law came over and allegedly hit Yousefian with a cane over the head and they fought. It was Lizarraga who responded to the call and arrested Yousefian but notably not the father-in-law. That should have given the prosecutors pause but they appear to have ignored it.
Lizarraga then searched his car with another officer and confiscated a laptop, digital camera and documents. Why? Yousefian says that the property was then turned over to his wife.
His wife later called Lizarraga and said that she had found illegal drugs and paraphernalia in the property turned over to her from the car. The complaint cites cell phone records showing his wife and Lizarraga continued to correspond before and after his arrest.
Prosecutors, however, continued to prosecute the case even though Yousefian never tested positive for drugs, and his fingerprints were not found on the evidence. There has been no statement from the prosecutors why they would take such an absurd case to trial. There is also no word on the status of a police officer who allegedly had an affair with the wife of an individual who he arrested. Glendale must have money to burn.
We will be following this case closely and hopefully we will hear about the status of both these officers and the responsible prosecutor in the case.