AFRICANGLOBE – This is the moment a former police officer broke down in tears after being found guilty of a string of sexual offences including raping women while on duty.
Disgraced Oklahoma City officer Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, now faces more than 200 years in prison for the offences.
He preyed on Black women who had trouble with the law, hoping their word would not stand up against him.
Holtzclaw was charged with sexually assaulting and raping 13 women and found guilty of 18 of the 36 charges, including four of the six rape charges.
Video from inside the courtroom shows Holtzclaw bow his head as the verdict is read out. He can be heard whimpering before lifting his head to show tears streaming from his face.
His lawyer puts a comforting hand on his shoulder as Holtclaw slumps forward in his chair shaking his head.
Holtzclaw wailed “I didn’t do it” as he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
Sentencing was set for January and he could face life in prison, with jurors recommending a tariff of more than 200 years.
In closing arguments on Monday, prosecutors said Holtzclaw targeted his victims by going after women he came across while on patrol.
He ran background checks and went after those who had outstanding warrants, previous arrests or carried drugs or drug paraphernalia.
They said he did this because he did not think authorities would take the victims’ word over his if he had to defend himself against sexual assault allegations.
“He exercised authority on those society doesn’t care about,” Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger said in closing arguments.
The defence argued the victims provided testimony that was ‘unreliable and dishonest’.
Defence attorney Scott Adams said Holtzclaw was an ‘honorable’ police officer whose activities were made to appear evil and suspicious.
Thirteen women took the stand in the trial, which began more than a month ago, telling jurors of sexual assaults that ranged from touching over their clothing to forced oral sex and rape.
One of the final people to testify was a girl who said she was 17 at the time of the sexual assault and Holtzclaw raped her on her mother’s front porch.
Holtzclaw, who did not testify, was fired over the accusations in January 2015 after approximately three years on the job.
By: Natalie Evans, Heide Brandes