A jury found former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw guilty Thursday on 18 counts related to charges of rape and sexual assault against 13 women while on duty. The convictions include one of first-degree rape, meaning the 29-year-old could face life in prison. Holtzclaw faced 36 charges of rape, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy, among others. Here’s more from the Associated Press on his crimes:
Holtzclaw was accused of preying on women in the low-income Oklahoma City neighborhood he patrolled. Prosecutors alleged that he stopped women on the pretense of checking them for outstanding warrants or drug-related items, then forced them to perform sexual acts. The youngest accuser was 17. All 13 of the women are black. Many had problems with drugs or criminal records.
The case had racial undertones as all of the victims were black and Holtzclaw is white. “I didn’t think anyone would believe me,” one woman testified. “I’m a black female.” “Thirteen women took the stand and told strikingly similar stories—Holtzclaw coerced them into having sex after threatening to arrest them on outstanding warrants or for possessing drug paraphernalia,” NBC News reports. The jury of eight men and four women recommended sentences for each guilty verdict that added up to more than 260 years, according to NBC affiliate KFOR. Holtzclaw reportedly sobbed in the courtroom as the judge read the verdicts aloud.