Oklahoma City – On Thursday, former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw was found guilty of charges including sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy and second-degree rape. The policeman faced charges for assaulting 13 black women, including a 17-year-old runaway and a 50 year-old grandmother.
After deliberating for more than 40 hours over four days the jury read the verdic. Out of the 13 known victims, Holtzclaw was found guilty of sex crimes against eight of them, and the jury acquitted him of charges involving five other women he encountered while on night patrol.
Now he faces up 263 years in prison as the Jurors recommended. The sentence includes 30-year sentences for each of four first-degree rape convictions. Although, formal sentencing is set for next month.
Scott Adams, Holtzclaw’s defense attorney did not make any comment after the verdict was read but Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said that justice had been done and that a criminal wearing a uniform was going to prison.
Victims said they had feared for their lives. Jannie Ligons told reporters at a news conference on Friday that she thought he was going to shoot her and that she begged him not to make her do that.
Another victim, Shandegreon Hill told reporters that Holtzclaw raped her while she was handcuffed to a hospital bed in December 2013.
“No nurses, nobody came to check on me,” she said. “Me being in the room with the police, not expecting to get violated the way I did, the way I was done, I just couldn’t even believe it. I was speechless. I was scared”
The youngest victim, a 17-year-old girl, said Holtzclaw picked her up one night in June 2014. Then, he walked her to the porch saying he had to search her. There, he grabbed her breasts, and then pulled shorts down and raped her.
13 women declared to be Holtzclaw’s victims but one of them, Jannie Ligons said he has picked the wrong lady to stop that night and she was right. Ligons’ complaint triggered the investigation.
Investigators found other victims through records of the background checks Holtzclaw had requested, prosecutors said Holtzclaw selected his victims based on their criminal histories, figuring their drug or prostitution records would destabilize any claims they might make against him. The victims’ claims were corroborated through the GPS locator in his squad car.
Holtzclaw is biracial, his father is a white veteran police officer and his mother, a Japanese woman, all his victims were black and an all-white jury composed of eight men and four women heard the case. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said that defense attorneys had eliminated every potential black juror.