Daniel Holtzclaw: Sentenced to 263 years in prison for sexual assault of eight women

Daniel Holtzclaw has been given a life sentence for raping and assaulting eight women while on duty in Oklahoma  

Former Oklahoma police officer Daniel Holtzclaw will spend the rest of his life in prison for raping and sexually assaulting eight women while on duty.

The sentence of 263 years is good news for his victims, who called for the maximum sentence to be delivered, as reported by The Guardian.

A total of 13 women claimed Mr Holtzclaw had raped or assaulted them. All of the women were black and reportedly living in troubled circumstances.

The announcement by judge Timothy Henderson follows the conviction on 10 December of assaulting eight of the 13 women. He was found guilty on 18 counts - five counts of rape and 13 other counts of sexual assault or sexual battery.

He was arrested on 18 June 2014 and charged later that year for 13 assaults between late 2013 and the day of his arrest.

During the trial his victims were reportedly aggressively cross-examined on their use of marijuana, drinking, thefts and suspended drivers’ licenses in an attempt to question their credibility.

His victims felt powerless as he was a member of the police force. One of his victims was a 17-year-old girl who he raped on her mother’s front porch and threatened her with an outstanding warrant for trespassing.

Several of his victims whose claims did not result in a conviction are suing Mr Holtzclaw and Oklahoma City in civil court. One lawsuit claims that police were investigating Mr Holtzclaw as early as 8 May last year, six weeks before he assaulted his final victim, and allowed him to remain on duty during these investigations.

He was arrested hours after 57-year-old Jannie Ligons reported her assault on 18 June 2014.

“We understand that there were other women who called before [Ligons], whose calls went unanswered,” civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump said. “We need to find out how aggressive [investigators] were. We need to find out, how could this happen so many time and nobody see what was going on? … It’s mind boggling how nobody would catch this.”