Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, was sentenced to 263 consecutive years in prison Thursday after being convicted on multiple counts of sexual assault and rape perpetrated against black women while on the job.
Holtzclaw was accused by 13 black women of sexual assault; he was convicted by an all-white jury in December on 18 of 36 counts relating to eight of the women. The officer was removed from his post in January 2015, soon after allegations against him emerged.
Holtzclaw's victims had criminal histories linking them to illegal drug use or prostitution. According to the prosecution, Holtzclaw intentionally victimized the vulnerable population. More from The Oklahoman:
For six months [from December 2013 to June 2014] prosecutors allege, Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Ken Holtzclaw prowled the dimly lit nighttime streets of one of the state’s poorest neighborhoods engaging in an escalating level of sexual assaults, often while on duty… In a disadvantaged neighborhood, where many residents already feel forgotten and often view police with distrust, Holtzclaw’s alleged crimes have further eroded confidence in law enforcement, residents say.
The victims told harrowing accounts of assault. The Oklahoman also reported last month:
The 13th and final accuser in the sex crimes trial against a fired Oklahoma City police officer told jurors Tuesday he raped her on her mother's front porch. She said she was 17 years old at the time. “He started searching me … he stuck his hands up under my shirt, under my bra and touched my breasts,” she testified. The witness, now 18, began to stutter during her testimony and began to cry. “After he searched me, he kind of turned me around and bent me over the chair,” she said. A few people in the audience could be heard sniffling during her testimony.
A motion for a new trial by Hotlzclaw's attorneys was denied by the judge Thursday.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.