A 263-year sentence was handed out to former Oklahoma City cop Daniel Holtzclaw. On Thursday afternoon, the judge sentenced the police officer to one of the longest prison sentences in history after he was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting at least eight black women.
Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, was found guilty on 18 counts of rape and the sexual abuse of black women ranging in age from 17 to 58-years-old in 2013 and 2014.
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 22, 2016
The former Oklahoma City cop was convicted in December on 18 of 36 counts of rape and sodomy. During the hearing where the 263-year prison sentence was levied, three of the Holtzclaw rape victims were present in the courtroom. The women, who included both the youngest and the oldest victims in the rape case, gave an emotional accounting of their sexual assault. Jannie Ligons, the oldest rape victim, has remained vocal about the case throughout the trial.
During the sentencing hearing, the teenage victim had this to say.
“It’s been hard on my family. It’s been hard on me. Every time I see the police, I don’t even know what to do. I don’t ever go outside, and when I do, I’m terrified.”
The judge hearing the case recently denied a new trial motion posed by the attorney for the former Oklahoma cop, Scott Adams. The defense lawyer maintained that the sentencing phase should be put on hold due to allegations that DNA evidence had been left out of the investigation. The judge ruled that not enough evidence existed to prove the DNA claims. Adams also stated that he still believes in his client’s innocence, Oklahoma’s Own Channel 9 News reports.
— VibeMagazine (@VibeMagazine) January 22, 2016
Although the criminal charges levied against Daniel Holtzclaw were based solely upon the rape and sexual abuse of eight women, a total of 13 black women testified during the trial. The women not named in the charges also made sexual attack claims that echoed those of the other eight victims, the New York Daily News reports.
The former Oklahoma City police officer targeted black women in low-income neighborhoods that he was tasked with patrolling and protecting, according to court documents. The rape victims were searched for drugs or drug paraphernalia before Holtzclaw raped, sodomized, or sexually abused them.
Oklahoma County District Attorney Scott Prate told the court that if Holtzclaw was a “true law enforcement officer,” he would not have victimized the citizens in his sector but protected them from harm.
“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,” Prate added.
— BlueprintSupporters3 (@ecbl3) January 1, 2016
Racial tensions were at least somewhat inflamed during the early stages of the rape investigation into the Oklahoma City police officer. Holtzclaw, a former college football player, is half-Japanese and half-white, and all of his victims were black. He was convicted by an all-white jury. The former cop given what amounts to a life sentence is the son of a police officer who served without incident in the city of Enid.
What do you think about the 263-year sentence given to former Oklahoma City cop Daniel Holtzclaw?
[Photo by Sue Ogrocki/AP, Pool]