Daniel Holtzclaw was sentenced on Thursday to 263 years in prison after his conviction for a variety of charges including rape and sexual assault. The disgraced Oklahoma City police officer was found guilty of 18 out of 36 charges against him, including four counts of first-degree rape on December 18, 2015, according to the Washington Post. Jurors recommended the maximum allowed prison sentence for Holtzclaw and District Judge Timothy Henderson agreed. Daniel Holtzclaw waived his right to remain in custody at the county jail for 10 days and was taken directly to prison.
Holtzclaw was accused of terrorizing residents of a low-income Oklahoma City neighborhood where he was assigned in 2013 and 2014. Prosecutors built a case against Holtzclaw that claimed he targeted black women in the neighborhoods in the north and east areas of Oklahoma City. As an officer, Holtzclaw would check the women for warrants and then offer them freedom in exchange for various sexual favors.
— CNN (@CNN) January 21, 2016
Daniel Holtzclaw and his attorneys asked for a new trial after hearing the jurors decision back in December. Right before reading the sentence for the disgraced cop, District Judge Timothy Henderson denied Holtzclaw’s motion for a new trial.
It was pointed out during the trial that Daniel Holtzclaw’s accusers were all black women, A total of 13 of Holtzclaw’s accusers testified against him. The woman told the jury while under oath that Holtzclaw checked for outstanding warrants and drug paraphernalia before attempting to force himself on them.
Daniel Holtzclaw’s case sparked national outrage as race relations has been a hot-button topic in recent years. With the prevalence of Black Lives Matter, many kept a close eye on the month-long trial of Holtzclaw, which concluded with a guilty conviction on 18 counts back in December.
Holtzclaw’s attorney, Scott Adams, has already issued a statement regarding the instant life sentence. Adams says that Holtzclaw plans to appeal.
“It is what it is,” Adams said of the 263-year sentence. “It wasn’t a surprise.”
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) January 21, 2016
Oklahoma City District Attorney David Prater also had something to say about Daniel Holtzclaw’s 263-year sentence. Prater condemned Holtzclaw for using his position of power for such despicable acts.
“I think people need to realize that this is not a law-enforcement officer that committed these crimes. This is a rapist who masqueraded as a law-enforcement officer,” Prater said after hearing Holtzclaw’s sentence. “If he was a true law enforcement officer he would have upheld his duty to protect those citizens rather than victimize them.”
Holtzclaw’s attorney tried to paint his client as a model citizen and former college football star. He tried to pass Daniel Holtzclaw off as a saint whose efforts to help the low-income residents of the neighborhoods where he served had been misunderstood. The jury didn’t buy it though and convicted Holtzclaw for half of the charges against him. A verdict that sits well with many that were victimized by Holtzclaw when he was part of the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Holtzclaw’s victims were questioned about their unwillingness to come forward, many of them not talking about encounters with the police officer until after they were named as potential victims. The women claiming to have been taken advantage of by Holtzclaw varied in age from 18- to 50-years-old. What the women did have in common, though, was that they all were low-income black women, many with criminal records. Several of the women claimed they never came forward because they didn’t think law enforcement would believe that Daniel Holtzclaw had done anything wrong.
One woman identified only by the initials C.J. said, “It’s my word against his because I’m a woman and, you know, like I said, he’s a police officer. So I just left it alone and just prayed that I never saw this man again, run into him again, you know.”
Another victim, identified as T.M. corroborated that sentiment by saying, “I didn’t think nobody was going to believe me anyway. And I’m a drug addict, so the only way I knew to handle it was to go and get high to try to block it out, to make it seem like it didn’t happen.”
The stories of several other women mirrored the previous victims of Holtzclaw and it seemed that the former football star was choosing his victims based on their credibility. In the end, Daniel Holtzclaw did have his day in court and the 13 women who testified against him came out victorious despite attempts to discredit them.
[Photo by Sue Ogrocki/AP Images]