OKLAHOMA CITY — After four days of deliberations, jurors Thursday found a former Oklahoma City police officer guilty of 18 of the 36 charges against him, including first-degree rape.
Daniel Holtzclaw, who grew up in Enid and turned 29 on Thursday, was accused of sexually abusing 13 women while on patrol.
He was found not guilty on the other 18 counts he was facing. His attorney declined to comment.
The jury recommended Holtzclaw serve a total of 263 years. Judge Timothy R. Henderson will decide Jan. 21 whether he will have to serve the sentences consecutively.
Holtzclaw was found guilty of four counts of first-degree rape, one count of second-degree rape, four counts of forcible oral sodomy, six counts of sexual battery and three counts of procuring lewd exposure.
Jurors had spent about 45 hours deliberating his fate.
Holtzclaw’s attorneys wanted jurors to believe he was a vigilant, honest police officer who may have violated some department policies but didn’t commit any crimes. The women who accused him, they argued, were just the opposite — addicts, prostitutes and felons who fabricated stories about Holtzclaw. Most of the accusers, they noted, didn’t come forward until approached by police.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, painted Holtzclaw as a dishonest cop who violated his oath to protect the public and instead used his power to “prey on women” who lived in the northeast side of Oklahoma City. He selected victims with criminal histories, they said, and used his power to intimidate and bully them into silence.
Holtzclaw sobbed as the verdict was read aloud. His mother, father and sister were in the courtroom as the verdict was read. At least one accuser was present, as well as several black community leaders. Seven armed deputies were stationed around the room.
The lead detective in the case, Kim Davis, said after the verdict: “I feel horrible for his family. It’s brutal, but I think justice was served.”
During a month-long trial, jurors heard from 13 women who said Holtzclaw sexually victimized them. Most of them said Holtzclaw stopped them while out on patrol, searched them for outstanding warrants or checked to see if they were carrying drug paraphernalia, then forced himself on them.
Many of the women had arrest records or histories of drug abuse. Most hailed from the same neighborhoods in the shadow of the state Capitol. Two women took the stand wearing handcuffs and orange scrubs because they recently had been jailed on drug charges. Another woman admitted on the stand to slipping out of her motel room the night before and procuring marijuana and the hallucinogen PCP.
Holtzclaw’s attorney, Scott Adams, made those issues a cornerstone of his defense strategy. Adams questioned several women at length about whether they were high when they allegedly encountered Holtzclaw. He also pointed out that most did not come forward until police identified them as possible victims after launching their investigation. He said Holtzclaw’s attempts to help the drug addicts and prostitutes he came in contact with were distorted.
Holtzclaw did not take the stand.
CNHI Oklahoma reporter Janelle Stecklein and The Associated Press contributed to this story.