UPDATE: On Thursday evening, Daniel Holtzclaw was found guilty of 18 of the 36 counts he was charged with in the frightening, horrific sexual assault of 13 Black women in Oklahoma City. He is facing more than 250 years in prison.
An all White and predominantly male jury is still reviewing the details in the Daniel Holtzclaw case. Holtzclaw is facing 36 counts of rape and forcible sodomy and other charges that could land him in prison with a life sentence.
The former cop, who turned 29 today, is accused of raping and sexually assaulting 13 Black women in Oklahoma City. One of the alleged victims was only 17 years old at the time of her attack.
Yesterday, Buzzfeed published interviews with the 13 women in the case. Throughout the trial, the defense has been emphasizing many of the victims’ pasts in sex work and drug use, accusing them of lying and of having agendas to debunk their credibility.
The testimonies have been highly consistent, given that they all described Holtzclaw as threatening them by using his status as a cop to intimidate them. He also frequently targeted the women in remote locations and frequently assaulted or exposed himself to the women through the fly of his pants. Holtzclaw wore his uniform and targeted his victims while he was on duty.
One 23-year-old woman has now famously said that she didn’t think anyone believe her as a Black woman if she came forward to Oklahoma City’s Police Department about her rape. The woman was assaulted while she was being treated at the local hospital for being high on PCP.
Holtzclaw asked the woman why she had the “baby daddies” that she had, and told her to cooperate with him so that her charges would be dropped in within a month. He then groped her in her hospital bed and forced her into oral sex. She says he later stalked her on Facebook and approached her again on a separate occasion near a mall to try pressuring her into sex in a car.
Holtzclaw allegedly pressured another woman into sex after getting her into the back of his patrol car after she was sitting in a car late at night. The woman says she was accustomed to being approached by police because of outstanding tickets, but then was asked her to expose herself in front of him.
“I don’t even know what me and him was talking about. I was just ready to get it over with,” the woman said. “What I had to do to get out that police car to go in with my babies.”
He would also force himself into her house on other occasions. The alleged victim eventually followed her mother’s advice and left the neighborhood with the family.
Another woman who was forced to expose her breasts as she was walking home one evening said:
“I didn’t think anything would be done. I mean, it was nobody there but just me and him, so to me I just took it as my word against his, so I just blew it off — as best as I could just walked away from it.”
Holtzclaw frequently approached women who were alone or who seemed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. One victim said she was approached by Holtzclaw after she was seen drinking in her car, then raped by the cop near a bus lot.
“I was ashamed. I’ve been a victim. I’ve been molested as a child by a minister in my church. I’ve been raped a couple of times. So I was just ashamed and I didn’t want to face the rape. I didn’t want to face it.”
Though the case has been slow to gain ire from the public since Holtzclaw’s story broke in 2014, concerned social media users, many of them being affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Movement, have been tweeting their hopes for Holtzclaw to be convicted with hashtags like #DanielHoltzclaw, #DanielHoltzclawVerdictWatch and #wewantlife.
We’ll keep you updated here on HelloBeautiful with any other updates on the Holtzclaw case.