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“Serial Rapist with a badge” is convicted of raping 8 Black women

2“Serial Rapist with a badge” is convicted of raping 8 Black women

Attorney Benjamin Crump with his client Jannie Ligons.

Holtzclaw wept as the guilty verdicts were read.

By Frederick H. Lowe, Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from NorthStarNewsToday.com

     (TriceEdneyWire.com) – An Oklahoma City jury convicted one of its former police officers of raping and sexually victimizing eight Black women and the police department said it was pleased with the verdict.

Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, was convicted based on the testimony of 13 women who said they were initially afraid to testify against him because he was armed with a gun and they feared he would kill them.

“All I can say is, I was innocent,” said Jannie Ligons. “I was out there alone and helpless…. He did things to me that I didn’t think a police officer would do. I was afraid for my life,” Ligons said. “I kept begging, ‘Please sir, don’t make me do this’.”

The women also thought no one would believe them because he was police officer. Some of the women had arrest records for illegal drug use.

The Associated Press reported that police officers raping women is a major problem. The wire service reported that more than 1,000 police officers lost their badges in the last six years because of rape, sexual assault and possession of child pornography.

Holtzclaw raped women in a poor neighborhood where he patrolled as a police officer.

During the trial, he posted a Facebook page declaring his innocence.

An all-White jury deliberated forty-five hours over four days, following the month-long trial before finding Holtzclaw guilty of 18 of 36 charges of rape, oral rape and sodomy. He faces 263 years in prison, but formal sentencing will not occur until Jan. 21, 2015.

As the verdict was read Dec. 10, Holtzclaw, who is part White and Japanese, sobbed loudly and put his forehead on the defense table. He then began to rock back and forth in his chair still sobbing while his head remained on the table. The Oklahoma Police Department fired Holtzclaw in 2014 when the allegations of rape first surfaced. That occurred when Ligons came forward and accused Holtzclaw of sexual impropriety during a traffic stop.

Ligons’ lawyer Benjamin Crump called Holtzclaw as a “serial rapist with a badge.”

“The Oklahoma City Police Department is pleased with the jury’s decision regarding the Daniel Holtzclaw trial. It was a long and difficult trial and deliberation process for all involved. It is obvious the jury took their responsibilities very seriously and considered every piece of evidence presented to them,” the police department wrote on its Facebook page. “We are satisfied with the jury’s decision and firmly believe justice was served.”

Holtzclaw is the son of a police lieutenant in Enid, Okla.

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