On Friday night, Daniel Holtzclaw was interviewed over the phone by 20/20 from jail. He maintains his innocence.
While speaking with ABC News, Holtzclaw circles from denigrating his accusers, hinting that his acquittal would have led to a second Ferguson-like occupation, and offering excuses that wouldn’t hold up under the weight of a raindrop. As to why he agreed to the interview, he says:
“I want people to hear from me... I want them to hear from my voice… how do I respond to these questions so they could see the truth. I have nothing to hide and what I want the public to see is my personal side to the story.”
“I am not guilty of those crimes. But what I did is I protected and served, and there was a vendetta as far as the detectives, as far as the prosecution...I have never sexually assaulted anyone.”
Holtzclaw also trots out the ole “they did it for the money” explanation for why he is spending the rest of his life in jail for the sexual assaults he committed.
“The fact is, when you approach these women [and say], ‘We have a tip that you’ve been sexually assaulted by an Oklahoma City police officer,’ based on the area that I worked in and the environment and the atmosphere that I worked at — you should know that these women in these lifestyles — that’s basically giving them a lottery ticket to say, ‘Yes.’ All they had to do was say, ‘Yes,’ and then you’re going to file charges on me.”
Holtzclaw was acquitted on charges related to a woman named Shardayreon Hill, but his behavior towards her undoubtedly violated police protocol. After assaulting her, he friended her on Facebook and visited her house uninvited in his personal car. He ascribed his irregular dealings with all of the women as part of his job: “That’s good police work. You can run warrant searches. You can talk to them … you can find intel based on what their stores are and see if they matched up.”
Jannie Ligons was one of the first women to come forward, and unlike most of Holtzclaw’s victims, her position wasn’t so tenuous that she feared going to the police. She was taken up on drug charges decades ago and has no further record, but Holtzclaw only thinks soccer moms have credibility:
“Let’s get the factual facts out there. She’s [Jannie Ligons] not innocent the way people think she is. She had a bust in the ‘80s … But we couldn’t present that to the jury... This is not a woman that’s, you know, a soccer mom or someone that’s credible in society.”
“If they didn’t convict me, there would be the next Ferguson deal happening in Oklahoma City,” he said.
Holtzclaw said he thought was going to be acquitted of all the charges.
“I absolutely 100 percent, all in my heart, within my family, within everyone that was on my side. They all said, ‘There was no way that you should be convicted,’” he said. “I looked at [the jurors.] I looked in every single one of their eyes, and I told ‘em, ‘I did not do this.’ And I looked at the men and I looked at those women, and I saw women crying. I saw the men jeering in their eyes.”
Screenshot via ABC News 20/20.