Ex-girlfriend says Holtzclaw showed no signs of targeting women

Daniel Holtzclaw is pictured Wednesday in a courtroom during his trial in Oklahoma City. Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City police officer who grew up in Enid, is facing dozens of charges alleging he sexually assaulted 13 women while on duty. (AP Photo)

OKLAHOMA CITY — In a rare display of emotion in front of jurors, a former Oklahoma City police officer cried Wednesday as his ex-girlfriend testified he enjoyed reading scripture, volunteering at church and working out at the gym.

Kerri Hunt told jurors Daniel Holtzclaw, 28, was proud to carry his Oklahoma City police badge. He never made her feel uncomfortable or forced himself upon her during a year relationship that started in March 2014 — several months before the first woman came forward accusing him of sexual misconduct.

After his attorneys had called just one witness, his ex-girlfriend, Holtzclaw, who grew up in Enid, told a judge he would not testify in his own defense.

Jurors are scheduled to return to court Monday morning to hear closing arguments, then deliberate Holtzclaw's fate.

Wednesday’s proceedings marked an abrupt end to a trial that has lasted five weeks, in which prosecutors have called dozens of witnesses.

Hunt’s testimony was a stark contrast to the ex-cop portrayed by prosecutors as a sexual predator who victimized prostitutes, addicts and troubled women because he didn’t think they would report him.

Thirteen women eventually came forward with allegations Holtzclaw coerced them to expose themselves, touched them inappropriately or forced them to have sex. Holtzclaw has pleaded not guilty to the three dozen charges against him.

Defense attorneys throughout the trial questioned the credibility of Holtzclaw's accusers, pointing out their criminal histories.

During her testimony, Hunt said Holtzclaw showed no signs of any such behavior during their relationship. During their own intimate encounters during his lunch breaks, she said Holtzclaw would call in and take extra time.

“He would actually call in and use leave because it was too much trouble to get his uniform off,” she testified.

Pressed by prosecutors for intimate details of their sex life, Hunt said Holtzclaw had a “normal” sex drive for a man his age. The two had met at an Oklahoma City gym and started dating exclusively despite the fact Holtzclaw worked nights and Hunt during days as a recruiter.

Hunt said her sister worked as an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County at the time, as part of the sex crimes division, and worked closely with the same prosecutors now seeking to send Holtzclaw to prison.

Hunt said her relationship with Holtzclaw ended earlier this year because of the stress of the case against him, and because Holtzclaw was restricted to house arrest in Enid.

During much of Hunt's testimony, Holtzclaw bent his head and cried while a court employee passed him tissues. The tears marked the first time in weeks that a typically stoic Holtzclaw showed any emotion in front of jurors.

Due to return Monday, jurors were advised to pack overnight bags. The judge told them they won't be allowed to return home during deliberations, and he doesn't know how long those might take.

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