Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw was sentenced to a full 263 years in prison on Thursday for a series of rapes and sexual assaults against black women living on his beat.
Holtzclaw was convicted in December on 18 separate counts of rape, sexual battery, forcible sodomy, and procuring lewd exposure. He had been charged with 36 separate counts stemming from the allegations of 13 different women. The 18 convictions against Holtzclaw came from charges levied by eight of those 13 accusers, and had a maximum combined sentence of 263 years. The judge could have decided to let him serve some of the terms concurrently, which might well have meant he'd have lived long enough to come out of prison in the future.
Instead, he will spend the rest of his life serving the entire 263 year maximum recommended by the jurors who convicted him.
All 13 women who accused him of sexual assault in various forms were black. Prosecutors said Holtzclaw took a deliberate, systematic approach to his victims. When he ran into women who interested him while on patrol, he would run a background check using police data systems. Anyone with a record or an outstanding warrant jumped to the top of the predator's list.
"He didn't choose CEOs or soccer moms. He chose women he could count on not telling what he was doing," prosecutor Lori McConnell said in closing arguments. "He counted on the fact no one would believe them and no one would care."
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