Daniel Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City police officer accused of raping women while on duty, was found guilty Thursday.
Holtzclaw was convicted on 18 of 36 counts of sexual assault in attacks on 13 women. Conviction on the charges comes with the possibility of a life sentence.
The former police officer worked the night shift on the northeast side of the city. In the trial, prosecutors said that from December 2013 to June 2014, Holtzclaw targeted women he stopped while on patrol, singling out poor, black victims with criminal backgrounds whose stories would not be believed.
“He didn’t choose CEOs or soccer moms; he chose women he could count on not telling what he was doing,” the prosecutor, District Attorney Lori McConnell, said in closing arguments on Monday, according to a report by Reuters. “He counted on the fact no one would believe them and no one would care.”
Thirteen women testified in the five-week trial, describing sexual assaults that started with groping and progressed to forced oral sex and rape. Many said the officer had found them with drugs and told them he would not arrest them if they did as he said.
Protectors as predators
Holtzclaw isn’t alone in targeting people he’s supposed to be protecting.
A story by The Buffalo News’ Matt Spina revealed that in the past decade, a law enforcement official was caught in a case of sexual abuse or misconduct at least every five days.
Nearly all were men. Nearly all victims were women, and a surprising number were adolescents.
No federal agency tracks job-related sexual misconduct by police officers. So The News combed through news reports and court records to compile a database. More than 700 credible cases from the past 10 years are now detailed, county by county and state by state, in that database.
The data will be updated monthly through December 2016.
Send feedback, or cases we missed, to AbusingTheLaw@buffnews.com.