The name of Daniel Holtzclaw became known in the most disgraceful ways as a former Oklahoma City police officer who is currently serving a jail term in an undisclosed Oklahoma state prison having been found guilty of multiple counts of sexual assault and other charges against different women, all African-Americans. When Daniel was caught in the act, it was disclosed that he ran background checks to get possible information that he could use to pressurize his victims into yielding to his sexual requests, the police investigators said he abused his position as an officer of the law.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution argued that Daniel Holtzclaw deliberately chose his victims considering the fact that most of the 13 women who accused him had criminal histories some of which involved drug arrests. The defense, on the other hand, questioned the credibility of the victims based on their criminal records. Daniel pleaded not guilty to all the 36-count charges brought against him but he was eventually convicted of 18 charges by a jury made up of only whites on December 10, 2015, and on the 21st of January 2016, he was sentenced to a 263-years jail term. However, he insists that he is innocent.
Biography of Daniel Holtzclaw
Born as Daniel Ken Holtzclaw on December 10, 1986, in the United States territory of Guam, the former police officer attended Enid High School in Oklahoma and graduated from there in 2005. While in Enid high, Daniel Holtzclaw was part of the school’s football team and played as a linebacker, setting a record in the school with his 25 tackles in a game. Continuing his education, Daniel enrolled in Eastern Michigan University where he also played as a linebacker while studying criminal justice.
Sequel to his graduation in 2010, he tried to take his football career to the professional level but could not succeed in getting drafted into the National Football League (NFL). Alternatively, he joined the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Family- Wife, Girlfriend
Daniel Holtzclaw is the son of Eric Holtzclaw and Kumiko Holtzclaw, who is from Japan. His father, also a police officer, is a Lieutenant with the Enid Police Department, north of Oklahoma City.
Prior to his conviction, Daniel was in a relationship with a beautiful lady known as Kerri Hunt. They met at an Oklahoma City gym and started dating exclusively even though Daniel worked nights while Kerri worked in the day time as a recruiter. However, their relationship ended earlier in 2015 as a result of the stress of the case against Daniel and also because he was placed on house arrest in Enid.
Kerri Hunt was Daniel Holtzclaw’s only witness during his trial and according to her, her boyfriend enjoyed reading scripture, volunteering at church, working out at the gym and was proud to carry his Oklahoma City police badge. She went on to tell Jurors that Daniel Holtzclaw never, at any time, made her feel uncomfortable during their then one-year relationship which began in March 2014- many months before the first woman who accused him of sexual misconduct came forward.
All About The Police Officer’s Case Of Sexual Misconduct
The then-serving police officer was accused of sexual assault perpetrated against several African American women from December 2013 through June 2014. He selected these women particularly from a very poor, majority of Oklahoma city and according to the police investigators, Daniel Holtzclaw ran background checks on women with either outstanding warrants or other records of crime, and in a systematic manner, preyed on them.
The particular incident that found him out took place on June 18, 2014, and it involved a 57-year-old woman named Jannie Ligons. On the said date, Jannie was driving through the northeast side of Oklahoma City, the poor area said to be Daniel Holtzclaw’s target, when the police officer, who had finished his shift in the same area and was driving back to his house in the police vehicle assigned to him, pulled her over according to police investigators. However, he neither reported to police dispatch, ran a records check on Jannie the driver, nor revealed that he logged off of his patrol car computer.
As opposed to other women that police said he had accosted, Jannie was neither poor nor had any police record. According to her, Daniel Holtzclaw forced her to lift her shirt and pull down her pants before making her perform oral sex on him. In her testimony, Jannie said her pleas to get him to stop fell on deaf ears and she feared for her life. Without delay, Ligons reported the incident to the police.
Upon his report to the Oklahoma City Police Department the following day for his daily 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift, Daniel was taken to the department’s Sex Crimes Unit by two detectives for questioning. Sequel to being Mirandized, he was interrogated for two hours but he denied all claims of misconduct during the traffic stop earlier that morning and a sample of his buccal smear was collected for DNA comparison. At the end of the interrogation, the detectives told Daniel Holtzclaw that they were convinced that he was lying judging by previous evidence as well as the statement made by his then-cohabiting girlfriend Kerri Hunt, which contradicted his claims.
Although he was released after the interrogation, he was stripped of his badge and was placed on an indefinite paid administrative leave. Two months later, precisely on August 21, 2014, he was arrested after further investigation into the matter which had seen twelve more complaints turn up. He was initially charged with 16 and later 36 counts of first and second-degree rape, stalking, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy and procuring lewd exhibition.
Eventually, Daniel Holtzclaw was fired from the police force in January 2015 and his trial kicked off on the 2nd of November, 2015. However, he pleaded not guilty on all 36 charges brought against him. He was later convicted on 18 of the 36 charges, including stalking, first-degree rape, second-degree rape by instrumentation, indecent exposure, sexual battery, burglary, and forcible oral sodomy, and sentenced to 263 years in imprisonment. Not long after he was sentenced, all information about Daniel Holtzclaw was removed from the website of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DoC).
In 2017, Daniel Holtzclaw’s attorneys filed an appeal and in a bid to raise money to fund the process of the appeal, his family created a website. According to them, statements given during the trial with regards to the physical evidence were either wrong or not well-represented to the jury. Daniel Holtzclaw on his own side insisted that he is innocent while speaking in his first interview after his conviction, saying he won’t feel remorse for something he did not do.