The former Oklahoma City police officer who was convicted of several rapes while he was on duty has been sentenced to 263 years in prison (video below).
Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, was found guilty of 18 out of the 36 counts against him in December, the Washington Post reported. A jury recommended the 263 year prison sentence, and District Judge Timothy Henderson agreed.
“I think people need to realize that this is not a law enforcement officer that committed these crimes,” Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said, according to the Associated Press. “This is a rapist who masqueraded as a law enforcement officer. If he was a true law enforcement officer, he would have upheld his duty to protect these citizens rather than victimize them.”
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Holtzclaw was accused of several sex crimes against 13 African American women while patrolling a low-income neighborhood, court documents show. The former officer, who is half white and half Japanese, was found guilty by an all-white jury.
Three of Holtzclaw’s victims were present during the sentencing hearing. One of the victims, Jannie Ligons, a 57-year-old grandmother, told the judge the impact Holtzclaw’s actions had on her life.
“On June 18, 2014, my life changed forever when I encountered Daniel Holtzclaw,” said Ligons, whose accusations triggered the investigation. “I so desperately want my life back — the life I had before he took it away.”
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Another victim, who was 17 years old, shared her story during the trial as well. She said Holtzclaw drove her to her mother’s house and then touched her inappropriately.
Shardayreon “Sharday” Hill, another woman who came forward, told reporters that Holtzclaw “started to manipulate” her while she was handcuffed to a hospital bed.
“I was speechless, I was scared,” Hill recalled. “When everything was going down — I just, I felt — I mean, I was scared, I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was in survival mode, so I had to do what he was making me do.”
“Every one of these women, from the 17-year-old teenager to the 57-year-old grandmother … survived a horrific experience,” attorney Benjamin Crump said. “Hopefully, this is an example for the rest of America to follow, right here in Oklahoma. We stopped a serial rapist with a badge when everyone else had doubt.”
“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 the closing arguments. “He counted on the fact no one would believe them and no one would care.”
Holtzclaw has since been fired by the Oklahoma City Police Department and was ordered to serve his 263 year prison sentence consecutively. When his verdict was announced in December, he was seen sobbing uncontrollably in court.