Ex-cop and now convicted rapist Daniel Holtzclaw was found guilty of 18 of the 36 charges levied against him late Thursday. Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City officer, spent six months preying on African-American women in one of Oklahoma’s poorest communities. The ex-cop rapist waited through more than 40 hours of deliberation for the jury to reach its verdict, CNN reports.
Ex-cop Holtzclaw was visibly emotional as the verdict was read on December 10, his 29th birthday.
According to prosecutors, the ex-cop rapist used the power and authority of his badge and position to repeatedly exploit solely African-American women within his jurisdiction. He reportedly chose his victims through careful profiling, believing that if he only assaulted women with certain criminal histories (i.e., drug arrests or prostitution), they would never be believed if they reported his actions.
His crimes against the women in his community ranged from groping to oral sodomy and rape. Of the 18 charges the ex-cop rapist was convicted of, four were rape in the first degree and four were counts of forced oral sodomy.
The ex-cop was ultimately found out when one of his victims came forward. She told authorities of being assaulted by Holtzclaw during a traffic stop in summer 2014. Following her accusations against the now-ex-cop and convicted rapist, his horrific pattern of abuse was discovered. Investigators uncovered and mapped out abuses and crimes against several women over the next few months, and Holtzclaw was terminated in January 2015 following an internal investigation. The ex-cop rapist was fired in a scathing termination letter by Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty.
“Your offenses committed against women in our community constitute the greatest abuse of police authority I have witnessed in my 37 years as a member of this agency.”
Sentencing for the ex-cop rapist is scheduled for next month, and neither jurors nor prosecutors are pulling any punches. Jurors recommended that the ex-cop serves a collective total of 263 years, and the District Attorney in the case, David Prater, went on to underscore the prosecution’s vehement desire to see him off the street for the rest of his natural life.
“We’re going to ask the judge to make sure that this defendant never sees the light of day, and we’re going to ask him to run consecutive, every count.”
Following the reading of the verdict and his emotional courtroom outburst late Thursday, Holtzclaw had a message for his family, reports KFOR. The ex-cop rapist stood, shook his head towards his family members in the courtroom, and mouthed, “I didn’t do it.”
He also reportedly took the unusually aggressive action of blatantly staring down the jury responsible for his multiple convictions as he exited the courtroom.
On Friday, the Oklahoma County Sheriff confirmed reports that Holtzclaw is currently under suicide watch. He is being supervised by either a deputy or detention officer, stationed outside his cell, to make sure he doesn’t attempt to take his own life.
While the ex-cop rapist sits on suicide watch, waiting to be sentenced for his horrendous crimes against both women and his position of trust and authority, his victims have begun to speak out, reports CBS Chicago. Jannie Ligons, the first of the ex-cop rapists’ victims to report her experience, had a few words for him. The mother and grandmother immediately went to both legal authorities and the media following her assault at the hands of the ex-cop rapist. Her actions triggered the investigation that led to Thursday’s conviction of Daniel Holtzclaw.
“He just picked the wrong lady to stop that night.”
Indeed. With Holtzclaw now convicted of 18 counts, behind bars, and facing the rest of his life in prison, the ex-cop clearly did pick the wrong lady to stop that night. While some of his victims are seeking civil damages against the OKCPD, hopefully Thursday’s conviction of the ex-cop rapist will help them all with their healing processes.
[Image via Oklahoma City Police Department]