Former Oklahoma Officer Daniel Holtzclaw Sentenced to 263 Years in Prison for Raping, Sexually Assaulting Over a Dozen Black Women

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A former Oklahoma City police officer was sentenced to 263 years in prison Thursday, about a month after he was convicted of rapes and other offenses that authorities say occurred while he was on duty.

Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, was convicted in December on 18 of the 36 counts he had been facing — including four counts of first-degree rape. News of his sentence comes via the Associated Press.

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Holtzclaw arrived for the hearing, according to reports on Twitter, but the proceedings immediately didn’t start as scheduled. The courtroom was later cleared, an Oklahoman reporter tweeted, and those who had gathered for the hearing returned in the afternoon.

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One day before Thursday’s hearing, Holtzclaw’s attorney, Scott Adams, had filed a motion seeking either an evidentiary hearing or a new trial for his client, the Oklahoman reported.

Adams mentioned in his motion an Oklahoma City detective’s posting on social media. In that Facebook post, the lawyer claimed, the man made “statements revealing that there is evidence that was withheld from the defense by the government,” according to the newspaper.

The Oklahoman reported:

The request contends Detective Jake McClain posted that “several (women) who came forward were found to be liars who were looking for their piece of the pie; and DNA evidence from several of the victims was found in his car and his pants.”

Adams pointed out that the prosecution witnesses testified that there was only one accuser’s DNA found anywhere during the forensic exams. That DNA was found on Holtzclaw’s pants.

The motion was denied Thursday, reports on Twitter indicated.

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Holtzclaw was accused of committing sex crimes against 13 African American women and was convicted of offenses involving eight of the women.

Investigators said the ex-officer, who was fired by the Oklahoma City Police Department after the allegations emerged, used his position and power to target women in a low-income neighborhood. His case was highlighted in an Associated Press report that looked into the problem of sexual misconduct in law enforcement.

“He didn’t choose CEOs or soccer moms; he chose women he could count on not telling what he was doing,” prosecutor Lori McConnell said during closing arguments, according to the news agency Reuters. “He counted on the fact no one would believe them and no one would care.”

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SOURCE: The Washington Post – Sarah Larimer