Daniel Holtzclaw’s trial continued Monday, the former Oklahoma City police officer accused of sexually assaulting at least 13 black women. During closing arguments, his defense attorney suggested the alleged victims who testified were less “perfect victims” than “perfect accusers,” and that they and other witnesses in the case “don’t care about the truth.”
Holtzclaw is charged with 36 counts of rape, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy, burglary, stalking, indecent exposure and procuring lewd exhibition. He’s accused of exploiting his position as a police officer to assault women during traffic stops and other on-duty encounters.
Defense attorney Scott Adams has repeatedly attacked the credibility of the alleged victims, several of whom have previous convictions for drug or prostitution offenses. One of the alleged victims who took the stand tested positive for PCP and marijuana the day she testified. Adams accused her at length of getting high the night before; the woman said it had been weeks earlier. (Among chronic users of PCP, the drug is detectable for up to 30 days after past use.) Another was reluctant to report an incident in which she said Holtzclaw forced her to expose her breasts, but eventually did so while being questioned by police.
Tweets from reporters in the courtroom indicate that Adams continued with that strategy today:
Adams reportedly mentioned that he believed one witness to be on PCP again during closing arguments, according to Yes All Daughters, the rape survivor advocacy group. He described her behavior during testimony as “skittering around.”
Holtzclaw, who is being tried by an all-white jury, didn’t testify in his own defense. A verdict is expected as soon as this afternoon.
A recent Associated Press investigation found that about 1,000 police officers lost their licenses in a six-year period for rape, sexual assault, and sex crimes like possession of child pornography.
Holtzclaw in court, November 30. Photo via AP Images