FORMER POLICE OFFICER USED THREATS TO GET SEX
For months, accusers, authorities and now an Oklahoma jury say, Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw preyed on vulnerable women. During traffic stops and interrogations, in the back of his police car or in their own homes, he used the threat of arrest to force women to submit to sexual assault and rape.
Many of his victims had criminal records or histories of drug use; most lived in the low-income neigh- bourhood where he patrolled. All of them were African-American.
-That’s why he targeted them, pros ecutor Lori McConnell argued.
“He didn’t choose CEOs or soccer moms; he chose women he could count on not telling what he was doing,” McConnell said of the former police officer during the closing arguments of a trial that drew national attention, according to Reuters.
“He counted on the fact no one would believe them and no one would care.”
Eventually, the former college football star and three-year member of the Oklahoma City police force would stand accused of 36 counts of abuse against 13 women. On Thursday, he was convicted of 18 of those crimes arising from the assaults of eight of the 13 women. A jury recommended that he be sentenced to 263 years in jail.
The majority of those who said they’d been abused by Holtzclaw were middle-aged women with criminal records, though the youngest was just 17. They were women who turned up outstanding warrants or previous arrests when he ran background checks on them, or who were carrying drugs or drug paraphernalia when he came across them on patrol.
On Thursday, Holtzclaw cried as the verdict was read.