Moments ago, an Oklahoma City judge sentenced former police officer Daniel Holtzclaw to 263 years for the rape and sexual assault of eight Black women and girls. The sentence will run consecutively.
Holtzclaw was found guilty in December, with the jury convicting him of 18 of a possible 36 charges of first-degree rape, second-degree rape, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy, procuring lewd exhibition, indecent exposure, burglary and stalking. The jury agreed with prosecutors who argued that Holtzclaw, who is White and Japanese, specifically sought out Black women in poor areas and intimidated them into keeping his crimes a secret. The all-White jury recommended 263 years of prison time.
Local television station KFOR reports that ahead of the sentencing, Holtzclaw’s attorneys filed a motion requesting a new trial or evidentiary hearing. The filing alleges that DNA evidence and the names of other accusers were withheld from the defense team. It refers to Facebook post created by Oklahoma City Police Department detective Jake McClain, who said he “assisted in parts of this investigation” and said that there were other accusers who were “found to be liars” and that “DNA evidence from several of the victims was found in his car and his pants,” which runs counter to witness testimony.
It’s likely that this motion is the reason the sentencing began late. The packed courtroom was cleared ahead of the hearing, and once it restarted, detective McClain was brought to the stand to testify regarding his Facebook post. According to KFOR reporter Adam Snider, who live tweeted the hearing, McClain admited that his involvement was limited to “tak[ing] screenshots” and that much of what he typed amounted to nothing more than “office rumors.”
The judge denied the motion for a new trial.