Former Oklahoma cop and convicted rapist Daniel Holtzclaw has disappeared – at least to the prying eyes of online viewers. The state’s Department of Corrections (DOC) has deleted his online inmate file as a “matter of security.” Holtzclaw was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting women while on duty as a patrol officer. He was sentenced to 263 years in prison, all to be served consecutively.
According to NY Daily News, the last known update for Holtzclaw’s location was the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center. This was during his intake on Tuesday. State officials have indicated that they will not reveal the inmate’s current location due to security protocols and concerns.
Rapist cop Daniel Holtzclaw's files went missing from the Oklahoma DOC online log. https://t.co/OdhNYVQ3ZK— Complex (@ComplexMag) January 31, 2016
Terri Watkins, spokeswoman for DOC, made an official statement to KFOR-TV.
“We are not going to comment. It is a matter of security.”
Watkins assured reporters, however, that Holtzclaw is still in the custody of the DOC.
The online inmate file would have made Holtzclaw’s status, mug shot, charges, and the specific prison where he is being housed available to the public. He could currently be incarcerated at any one of 12 prisons in the state.
The DOC further told Fox 25 that “their primary responsibility is the safety and security of offenders and then the public’s safety.” Director Watkins also added that this practice was not an unusual occurrence.
Holtzclaw’s information has also been removed from the Victim’s Notification System (V.I.N.E.), a service run by the Attorney General’s office intended to keep victims apprised of felon whereabouts. The source of this information would originate from the DOC. The DOC would normally make the victim aware if the felon is released; however, under the terms of Holtzclaw’s sentencing he will not be eligible for release over the course of his lifetime.
Daniel Holtzclaw, a former patrol officer, is 29-years-old and is the son of an Enid, Oklahoma, police officer. He was convicted in December of 18 sex charges, including four counts of first-degree rape, forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, lewd exhibition, and second-degree rape. Holtzclaw preyed on female residents of the low-income northeast Oklahoma community that he was hired to protect and serve. The former cop is white; all of his victims were black.
During the course of his trial, 13 women came forward to testify that he used his position as a police officer to intimidate them into allowing him to sexually abuse them. It only took the jury four days to deliberate and come to a unanimous guilty verdict, according to KFOR-TV. A number of the victims had the opportunity to read victims’ statements before the judge expressing how Holtzclaw’s crimes against them had impacted their lives.
One of the victims, Jannie Ligons, the first to come forward in the case, made a statement to KFOR-TV that summed up a feeling of closure that came with the guilty verdict.
“I can now rest, knowing he’s in prison, which allows me of being able to live my life without looking behind my shoulders. Justice was served today. I just know how glad I am and how proud I am, especially for all the victims — how we were traumatized and all the things we had to go through.”
Attorneys for the various victims represented in the trial said that neither they nor any of the victims had been made aware of Holtzclaw’s change in status.
In addition to Holtzclaw, the Oklahoma DOC houses one other former law enforcement officer. In 2012, former Del City police Captain Randy Harrison was convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of Dane Scott, Jr. Scott, 18, was unarmed at the time and was shot during a police chase. Harrison is currently serving four years, and his inmate profile can still be found online on the DOC’s website.
Daniel Holtzclaw’s defense team has indicated that it plans to appeal his guilty verdicts in the near future.
[Photo by Sue Ogrocki, Pool/AP Photo]