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Daniel Ken Holtzclaw (born December 10, 1986) is a former Oklahoma City Police Department patrol officer who was convicted in December 2015 of multiple counts of rape, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy, and other sexual charges.
Daniel Holtzclaw was born December 10, 1986, in the U.S. territory Guam to Eric Holtzclaw and Kumiko Holtzclaw, who is Japanese. His father is a lieutenant with the Enid Police Department, approximately 70 miles (110 kilometres) north of Oklahoma City.
Holtzclaw graduated from Enid High School in 2005. While there he played football as a linebacker, setting a school record for 25 tackles in a game. He played linebacker at Eastern Michigan University, where he graduated with a degree in criminal justice in 2010. After graduating, Holtzclaw unsuccessfully attempted to get drafted into the NFL. Following that, he joined the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Sexual assault allegations
Holtzclaw was accused of sexually assaulting multiple African American women over the period between December 2013 and June 2014, targeting those from a poorer, majority black portion of the city. According to the police investigators, Holtzclaw ran background checks on women with outstanding warrants or other criminal records, and methodically targeted those victims.
Eventually, the police investigation brought together 13 women who were willing to testify; published reports did not include information on any possible further women who were not willing to testify. The earliest incident discovered was from December 20, 2013, where a woman said she had been arrested for drug possession, was hospitalized, and was forced to give oral sex while she was handcuffed to her hospital bed. She said that he again made sexual advances to her on several occasions after she was released from jail. The woman said that she was led to believe that she would be released if she performed oral sex on Holtzclaw. "I didn't think that no one would believe me," she testified at a pretrial hearing. "I feel like all police will work together."
On February 27, 2014, Holtzclaw allegedly pulled up to a woman who was sitting in a parked car outside her house, fondled the woman's breasts, and told her, "I'm not going to take you to jail. Just play by my rules." She said he returned to her home repeatedly and broke into it once. At his trial she said she did not notify the police because she did not believe anyone would believe her because "I'm a black female."
- March 14, 2014: Holtzclaw stopped a woman who was walking to a friend's house, asked her whether she was in possession of any drugs, and forced her to expose her breasts.
- April 24, 2014: Holtzclaw stopped a woman who was engaging in sex work. He drove her home and when they arrived he forced her to perform oral sex and then raped her.
- April 25, 2014: Holtzclaw pulled a woman over saying he was taking her to detox in jail; he instead drove her to a field and raped her, leaving her there after he was done.
- May 7, 2014: Holtzclaw stopped a woman while she walked to her cousin's house. After finding out she had some warrants, he forced her to perform oral sex and then raped her behind an abandoned school.
- May 8, 2014: According to a later investigation, "A woman, known in court documents as T.M., reported that an unidentified officer forced her to perform oral sex after he found a crack pipe in her purse. Although she filed a police report later that month, no connection was made to Holtzclaw at the time.
- May 21, 2014: Holtzclaw drove a woman to a secluded area and gave her an ultimatum: sex or jail. She performed oral sex on him and then he raped her. In an interview the woman said that she first thought it was a "cruel joke of some hidden-camera show" until she realized that he was serious. She said she "had been jailed many times before, and knew the math: a 15-minute ride downtown, two hours to be booked, up to a day of waiting to move to a cell, hearings drawn out over weeks or months," and then decided to give in to his demands, which she figured would only take about six minutes.
- May 26, 2014: Holtzclaw stopped a woman and touched her breasts and put his hand in her pants. The woman said she did not tell the police because she didn't think she'd be believed.
- June 17, 2014: According to an investigation, "A 17-year-old female is first stopped by Holtzclaw when he arrives to investigate a verbal dispute between two of her friends. Later, he tracks her down while she is walking home, threatens to arrest her for an outstanding warrant, and then takes her to her mother's house, where he forces her to perform oral sex and have intercourse with him on the enclosed porch."
- June 18, 2014: Around 2:00 am, Holtzclaw had an encounter with a 57-year-old grandmother, Jannie Ligons, who would ultimately be the one to spark the investigation. The final sexual incident occurred on the same day as the encounter reported by Ligons. According to testimony, Holtzclaw stopped a woman as she left a hotel where she had been staying with her boyfriend. After running a check on her he took her to a desolate area and raped her. She told her boyfriend about the attack and he told her that she should report the rape to the police. "He is the police", she responded.
- November 2014: In November three more victims came forward, bringing the total to 13. Previously unidentified DNA which had been found on Holtzclaw's pants was found to match that of a 17-year-old girl who had come forward regarding the June 17 event. Another woman said she was walking on May 22 when Holtzclaw stopped her to check for warrants. When he found that there were no warrants out for her he said he would jail her if she didn't have sex with him; he then forced her to perform oral sex and raped her. A third woman said that he told her he was bringing her to detox but instead brought her to an isolated area and raped her. Ten more counts, including "first-degree rape, second-degree rape by instrumentation, forcible oral sodomy, and sexual battery" were filed against Holtzclaw, who was still on paid leave.
On December 10, 2015, he was convicted on 18 of the charges, with the jury recommending that he serve 263 years in prison. Charges included first-degree rape, sexual battery, indecent exposure, stalking, forcible oral sodomy and burglary. He also faced second-degree rape by instrumentation and sexual battery charges. Claiming that evidence was withheld from the defense, Holtzclaw's attorney requested a new trial on January 20, 2016. The request was denied by the judge immediately.
A statement released by Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty reads, in part: "We are satisfied with the jury's decision and firmly believe justice was served."
Soon after his sentencing, all of Holtzclaw's information was removed from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DoC) website. The website shows data on a criminal's offense(s), mug shots, and jail location. When asked where Holtzclaw is currently located, DoC spokesperson Terri Watkins replied, "We are not going to comment, it is a matter of security." It was later confirmed that he was being held under an alias in an undisclosed Oklahoma state prison. As of April 2020, the ODoC database lists Holtzclaw as being housed at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center in Lexington, Oklahoma.
In a 2016 interview Holtzclaw reasserted his innocence.