Daniel Holtzclaw, the former Oklahoma police officer who was convicted of sexually assaulting eight women while on his beat, was today sentenced to 263 consecutive years in prison. About a month ago, an Oklahoma judge found him guilty on 18 of 36 counts, including sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy, and rape. At least three of Holtzclaw’s victims were reportedly present at his sentencing, including a woman who was 17 at the time Holtzclaw raped her. “Ever since this happened my life has been upside down,” she told the court in a briefing before the sentence was announced. “I feel like I’m dying on the inside.”
The judge’s decision comes one day after Holtzclaw’s attorney, Scott Adams, filed a request for a new trial, The Oklahoman reports. In the request, Adams cites a Facebook post made by Detective Jake McClain, who assisted in the Holtzclaw investigation, saying that there was additional evidence left out of the trial, and that further victims had come forward but were not deemed credible.
“If there is additional DNA evidence … and if there are additional people who came forward and falsely claimed that they were victims … then deliberate misrepresentations were made not only to defense counsel but to the Court, calling into question the credibility of the government’s entire case,” Adams wrote in the request. Shortly before the sentencing, Adams’s request was denied.
All 13 women who testified at Holtzclaw’s trial were black, and many had criminal records and histories of drug abuse. Prosecuting attorneys emphasized this fact, saying Holtzclaw deliberately targeted women no one would believe. One woman confirmed this, saying, “I didn’t think anyone would believe me,” she told the court in December. “I’m a black female.”