BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — No charges will be filed against Assistant Bakersfield Police Chief Even Demestihas in connection with an altercation that occurred with a woman last year, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Demestihas had been on administrative leave since the incident occurred. The case was given to the Kings County District Attorney’s office, which deferred the issuing of charges, and the case was sent to the Kern County District Attorney’s office for review under the supervision of the California Attorney General’s Office.
Demestihas was arrested following a dispute with a woman Sept. 4, 2019, outside the V.I.P. Lounge on California Avenue. Witnesses said the two had left the bar together, and both witnesses and video surveillance captured an altercation inside a car in which the woman screamed, a DA’s release said.
Police were called to the scene and found Demestihas and the woman had each suffered some type of visible injury, according to prosecutors. Neither the witnesses nor the video surveillance provided clear detail of what had occurred or who was the initial aggressor, according to the release.
Prosecutors declined to file charges after the woman in the incident said “in no uncertain terms that she is a not a victim of domestic violence and refuses to be treated as one,” according to the release.
“This investigation presents a situation where the alleged victim has repeatedly denied that she is a victim of any crime,” Assistant District Attorney Andrea Kohler said in the release. “While there is some evidence of a dispute and interaction that caused injury to both parties in a vehicle, the lack of evidence regarding which party instigated any physical aggression, or any details alleging what physical aggression may have occurred, precludes any finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
H.A. Sala, the attorney representing Demestihas, sent a news release saying the facts considered by both prosecutors and the defense team confirm the assistant chief is innocent of any allegations of assault or domestic violence. He said Demestihas, who remains on leave pending a BPD administrative investigation, looks forward to being reinstated to his position within the department.