Ex-Oklahoma officer gets 263 years for rapes, sex assaults

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A former police officer convicted of raping and sexually victimizing women while on his beat in a low-income Oklahoma City neighbourhood was ordered Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison.

See Full Article

Jurors had recommended that Daniel Holtzclaw be sentenced to 263 years in prison for preying on women in 2013 and 2014. District Judge Timothy Henderson agreed, said Holtzclaw will serve the terms consecutively and denied his request for an appeal bond.

Holtzclaw waived his right to remain in custody in the county jail for 10 days, instead opting to be taken directly to prison. Defence attorney Scott Adams said Holtzclaw "is going to pursue his appellate rights, which he is entitled to."

Holtzclaw was convicted last month on 18 counts, including four first-degree rape counts as well as forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, procuring lewd exhibition and second-degree rape. He was acquitted on 18 other counts.

Prosecutors said Holtzclaw targeted black women in neighbourhoods east and north of the state capitol building. During the monthlong trial, 13 women testified against him, and several said Holtzclaw stopped them, checked them for outstanding warrants or drug paraphernalia, and then forced himself on them.

All of the accusers were black. Holtzclaw is half-white, half-Japanese, and the son of a longtime Enid, Oklahoma, police officer.

Holtzclaw's attorney had 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. 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.

Holtzclaw's victims included a teenager and woman in her 50s. Three accusers delivered victim-impact statements Thursday, and at least one other was in the courtroom.

Jannie Ligons, whose complaint in June 2014 launched the investigation of Holtzclaw, said she has been under stress because of the case and the fear of being sexually assaulted again. "My daughter and sisters are frightful when a police car pulls up behind them," Ligons said.

The Associated Press does not identify victims of sex crimes without their consent, but she was among two women who spoke publicly about the case and agreed to be identified.

Another woman, who was 17 at the time of the assault, said her "life has been upside down" since Holtzclaw raped her on the front porch of her mother's home.

"It's been hard on my family. It's been hard on me," she told the court. "Every time I see the police, I don't even know what to do. I don't ever go outside, and when I do I'm terrified."

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

Thursday's hearing was delayed by a few hours as Holtzclaw and attorneys met with the judge over the defence's request for a new trial or evidentiary hearing, but after hearing testimony from another officer, Henderson rejected the request and moved on to witness statements.

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.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake hits central Mexico [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake jolted central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing some buildings, cracking the facades of others and scattering rubble on streets on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 quake. The quake caused buildings to sway sickeningly in Mexico City and sent panicked office workers streaming into the streets, but the full extent of the damage was not yet clear. Source
  • Suspect tells court he had sex with prostitute, but didn't rape and beat her

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The suspect in the brutal rape of a Calgary woman in a downtown parkade testified Tuesday someone else was responsible for the attack. Andy Dick Ntunaguza told a two-woman, 10-man jury he had consensual sex with the woman after paying her $50. Source
  • Washington state school shooting suspect pleads not guilty

    World News Toronto Sun
    SPOKANE, Wash. — A 15-year-old boy accused of killing a student at his rural Washington state high school and wounding three others has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, according to court documents made public Tuesday. Source
  • From 'bold' to 'ignorant': world leaders react to Trump's UN speech

    World News CTV News
    Reaction from around the world to President Donald Trump's speech Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly: Margot Wallstrom, foreign minister of Sweden: "This was a bombastic, nationalist speech. It must have been decades since one last heard a speech like that in the U.N. Source
  • Trudeau says Canada ready to help Mexico after deadly earthquake

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is ready to help "our friends" in Mexico following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that killed dozens and collapsed buildings. Calling the quake in central Mexico "devastating," Trudeau said on Twitter that his thoughts are with those affected by the disaster. Source
  • 100,000 Canadian victims: What we know about the Equifax breach — and what we don't

    Canada News CBC News
    It's been nearly two weeks since the credit monitoring company Equifax admitted it had suffered one of the largest data breaches in recent memory — exposing the personal information of a whopping 143 million U.S. consumers. Source
  • Dog’s carcass dragged on Alabama highway

    World News Toronto Sun
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Alabama Department of Transportation says “appropriate action will be taken” after photos were posted to Facebook showing a department truck dragging a dog’s body on an interstate. Al.com reports April Bennett was driving with her 5-year-old son on Interstate 20 on Tuesday when she spotted the lifeless body of a dog, which she says appeared to be a German shepherd, being dragged behind the truck. Source
  • Bedroom sharing rules shut door on affordable housing for some families

    Canada News CBC News
    Remember the mixed-gender nursery with Wendy and the boys in Peter Pan? It turns out the Darling parents could never have let their children share stories in one bedroom if they lived in a Canadian co-op that follows the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) National Occupancy Standard. Source
  • Indigenous design team to represent Canada at 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- An Indigenous design team led by architect Douglas Cardinal will represent Canada at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. The Canada Council for the Arts says their project, titled "Unceded," reflects "on our country's need for reconciliation. Source
  • Sinkhole swallows part of Florida home [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    APOPKA, Fla. — A Florida home has been partially swallowed up by a massive sinkhole. Orange County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Kat Kennedy says crews responded Tuesday morning, shortly after the Apopka house began sinking. She says the sinkhole measured about 20 feet across and 15 feet deep. Source