Oklahoma Cop Daniel Holtzclaw Sentenced to 263 Years for Sexual Assaults

January 21, 2016 Updated: January 21, 2016
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OKLAHOMA CITY—A former police officer convicted of raping and sexually victimizing women while on his beat in a low-income Oklahoma City neighborhood was ordered Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison.

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. Defense attorney Scott Adams said Holtzclaw will appeal.

“It is what it is,” Adams said. “It wasn’t a surprise.”

Oklahoma County District Attorney Scott Prater had strong words for Holtzclaw, who 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. Holtzclaw was acquitted on 18 other counts.

“I think people need to realize that this is not a law-enforcement officer that committed these crimes. This is a rapist who masqueraded as a law-enforcement officer,” Prater said. “If he was a true law enforcement officer he would have upheld his duty to protect those citizens rather than victimize them.”

Prosecutors said Holtzclaw targeted black women in neighborhoods 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 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.

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