White officer guilty of raping black women
In a racially charged case that stirred national attention, Oklahoma City policeman Daniel Holtzclaw has been convicted of serially raping more than a dozen black women.
On Thursday, a jury found Holtzclaw guilty of committing 18 charges of rape and sexual assault against 13 black women between December 2013 and June 2014 while a police officer.
The conviction came on the disgraced officer’s 29th birthday, while he was sobbing uncontrollably as Oklahoma County Judge Timothy Henderson read the verdicts.
It took the all-white jury four days to deliberate before convicting the officer of charges related to eight of his 13 accusers, the Associated Press reported. Holtzclaw received a recommended sentence of more than 260 years.
He is slated to be formally sentenced next month.
“We are satisfied with the jury’s decision and firmly believe justice was served,” Oklahoma City Police Department said in a statement Thursday.
Hotzclaw was sacked back in January, when allegations about his misconducts began to emerge.
In one case, Holtzclaw was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl on the porch of her mother’s house.
Prosecutors alleged that Holtzclaw inappropriately touched the girl while driving her to her mother’s house. He then forced her to submit to sex on the porch.
When asked why she did not tell the police, she said, “What is the good of telling on the police? What kind of police do you call on the police?”
Other victims had also said during testimonies that they did not think reporting the matter to police was going to help.
“He is the police,” one of the victims told the jury.
The shocking news comes at a time when the widespread issue of police brutality has topped the headlines in America. Police and other law enforcement agencies’ maltreatment of black suspects have also drawn criticism from President Barack Obama and other high ranking US officials.