After deliberating for more than 45 hours over four days, an Oklahoma City jury has found ex-police officer Daniel Holtzclaw guilty on 18 of the 36 charges he faced for assaulting at least 13 black women.
For each of the 36 counts, the jurors, who were all white, were tasked with both determining the verdict and, in the case of a guilty verdict, recommending a sentence. They recommended 263 years.
Holtzclaw was found guilty of six counts of sexual battery, three counts of lewd exhibition, four counts of forcible oral sodomy, four counts of rape in the first degree, and one count of rape in the second degree.
Holtzclaw’s attorney argued that his victims weren’t credible, suggesting that the women (several of whom had previous drug and prostitution offenses) were less “perfect victims” and more “perfect accusers.”
The prosecution, meanwhile, argued that he’d used his badge to specifically exploit vulnerable women, including those who didn’t think they’d be believed because of their records.
Today is Daniel Holtzclaw’s 29th birthday. His charges, via the New York Daily News, included “first-degree rape, sexual battery, indecent exposure, stalking, forcible oral sodomy and burglary. He also faced second-degree rape by instrumentation and sexual battery charges.”
On the live stream from the courtroom, Holtzclaw shifted his weight back and forth nervously as the assembled waited for Judge Timothy Henderson to enter. As the verdict was read, Holtzclaw, then seated, rocked back and forth, openly sobbing. He continued to cry as he approached the bench.
All 13 women Holtzclaw was charged with assaulting testified in the trial. Their brutal, brave testimonies were reported in full on Buzzfeed. We’ll update this post as more information is made available.
According to Tom George, a Fox reporter who’s been covering the trial, sentencing will be January 21st.
Photo via screenshot