Ex-Oklahoma cop to be sentenced for rape, sex crimes

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A former Oklahoma City police officer is set to find out whether he will spend the rest of his life in prison for raping and sexually victimizing eight women on his beat.

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Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, will be sentenced Thursday. He faces up to 263 years in prison after last month's convictions on 18 counts — four counts of first-degree rape, plus additional counts of forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, procuring lewd exhibition and second-degree rape. He was acquitted on 18 other counts.

District Judge Timothy Henderson will decide whether Holtzclaw will have to serve the sentences consecutively.

Prosecutors said Holtzclaw preyed on black women he interacted with on his beat in a low-income neighborhood near the state Capitol. During the monthlong trial, 13 women testified against him, and several said Holtzclaw stopped them while out on patrol, searched them for outstanding warrants or checked to see if they were carrying drug paraphernalia, then forced himself on them.

All of the accusers were black. Holtzclaw is half-white, half-Japanese.

Holtzclaw's attorney, meanwhile, described the former college football star as a model officer whose attempts to help the drug addicts and prostitutes he came in contact with were distorted. Defence lawyer Scott Adams also attacked the credibility of some of the women, who had arrest records and histories of drug abuse, noting that many didn't come forward until police had already identified them as possible victims after launching their investigation.

Several of Holtzclaw's victims have filed civil lawsuits against Holtzclaw and the city in state and federal court.

Adams filed a request for a new trial or evidentiary hearing for Holtzclaw late Wednesday, but it wasn't immediately clear when Henderson will rule on the motion.

The Associated Press highlighted Holtzclaw's case in a yearlong examination of sexual misconduct by law officers, which found that about 1,000 officers in the U.S. lost their licenses for sex crimes or other sexual misconduct over a six-year period.

Those figures are likely an undercount, because not every state has a process to ban problem officers from law enforcement. In states that do decertify officers, reporting requirements vary.



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