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Ex-Oklahoma Police Officer Found Guilty in Rape, Sexual Assaults

  • VOA News

Daniel Holtzclaw, right, cries as the verdicts are read in his trial in Oklahoma City, Dec. 10, 2015. A

Daniel Holtzclaw, right, cries as the verdicts are read in his trial in Oklahoma City, Dec. 10, 2015. A

A former Oklahoma City police officer was found guilty of rape and sexual battery by a jury on Thursday. Prosecutors said he preyed on women who had trouble with the law.

Daniel Holtzclaw, a 29-year-old who is half-white and half-Japanese, was charged with sexually assaulting and raping 13 black women, the youngest a 17-year-old. All of them testified in the trial that began more than a month ago.

In closing arguments on Monday, prosecutors said Holtzclaw targeted his victims while on patrol. He ran background checks and went after those who had outstanding warrants, previous arrests or carried drugs or drug paraphernalia.

They said he acted on the belief that authorities would not take the victims' word over his, if sexual assault allegations would be filed against him.

An all-white jury found Holtzclaw guilty of 18 of the 36 charges, including four of the six rape charges. He sobbed as the presiding judge read the verdict aloud.

"I didn't do it," said Holtzclaw, before he was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

Formal sentencing was set for January 21, 2016.

Holtzclaw could spend the rest of his life in prison since crimes for which he was found guilty carry a total of 263 years in prison, including a 30-year sentence on each of four first-degree rape convictions.

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