An ex-policeman who used to be employed by the Oklahoma City Police Department has been found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting multiple women. According to the criminal lawsuit, the man targeted women having legal problems because he thought their word would not hold up in court.
The 29-year-old officer, Daniel Holtzclaw, was crying when his verdict was read. He faced 36 charges relating to the sexual assault and sexual battery of 13 different women. He was found guilty of 18 of those charges. He was found guilty of four out of six charges of rape.
Sentencing Hearing Scheduled for January
His sentencing hearing was scheduled for January. He could be sentenced to life in prison. Before being led from the courtroom, Holtzclaw said, "I didn't do it."
The jury started debating the case last Monday evening and reached its guilty verdict on Thursday. Earlier in the week, protesters gathered at the courthouse to demand a conviction from the all-white jury. Holtzclaw, who is mixed race of white and Asian, was accused of raping 13 black women.
On Monday, prosecutors claimed that Holtzclaw preyed on women he met while on patrol. They alleged that if he found a woman with an outstanding warrant, who was carrying drugs or had drug paraphernalia, she was a potential target for rape or sexual assault. Prosecutors accused Holtzclaw of targeting women he thought society didn't care about.
Defense Attorney: Holtzclaw Was an Honorable Officer
According to Holtzclaw's defense attorney, his client was honorable, but his actions were twisted to seem suspicious and evil.
The trial included testimony from 13 women who said they were victimized by Holtzclaw. The women said that Holtzclaw touched them while they were clothed, raped them or forced them to perform oral sex. One victim said Holtzclaw raped her when she was only 17 years old.
In January 2015, the police misconduct and criminal allegations led to Holtzclaw's termination from the police force after he was employed for three years by the department.
This conviction may have made the officer and the Oklahoma City Police Department potential targets in personal injury lawsuits from the women who were attacked by the officer. Both the officer and the police might be liable for the violently criminal actions perpetrated against the officer's female victims.
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