The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the 263-year sentence handed down by a jury against former Oklahoma City police officer and now convicted rapist Daniel Holtzclaw.
A panel of five judges unanimously rejected Holtzclaw’s appeal of the lower court’s decision.
The ruling was made by a panel of five judges.
Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Judges, David B. Lewis, Dana Kuehn, Gary L. Lumpkin, Robert L. Hudson and Scott Rowland all rejected appeal arguments made by Holtzclaw including being given an excessive sentence by the court with lack of physical evidence and prosecutorial conduct which he says led to a “circus atmosphere” during his criminal trial.
He also argued his defense team failed to present an expert witness to offer an alternative explanation as to why DNA of one of Holtzclaw’s accusers ended up on the pants of his police uniform.
Holtzclaw’s family, who has defended him since he was first accused, said they are devastated by the ruling, but not surprised.
Eric Holtzclaw, Daniel’s father, says the family intends on filing a second appeal in the United States Supreme Court, a process which could take up to 10 years.
“We will fight for Daniel until he is free,” Jennifer Holtzclaw, Daniel’s sister, said during an interview after the ruling, according to East Texas Matters.
Jenny, who apparently doesn’t believe even one of the 13 victims says her brother was convicted due to “biased claims” by prosecutors” and fabricated evidence from “unreliable accusers.”
But Holtzclaw’s defense team apparently went to great lengths to defend him even hiring an expert familiar with the street lives of prostitutes he claims to help by exposing them and their Johns with his video camera.
During his trial, Holtzclaw’s defense team, along with Brian Bates, who formerly ran the YouTube channel VideoVigilanteOKC, which had 240,000 subscribers and 150 million video views before YouTube removed the channel, attempted assassinate testimony of the victims who they say lacked credibility due to their lifestyles.
“Every time I would read accounts by these women, I called it Daniel’s Magic Penis. It just appeared. No one talked about how he unzipped his pants and took off his uniform and police belt. They looked up and it was just there,” he told PINAC in a 2016 telephone interview about the guilty verdict.
Now Bates, who was hired as a consultant by Holtzclaw’s defense team, due to his familiarity and experience with street life and prostitute culture, has moved his channel to his own website dubbed JohnTV.com.
Before his arrest, prosecutors say Holtzclaw, 32, preyed on mostly black woman and girls while he was on-duty patrolling the streets of Oklahoma City.
After victims began coming forward, he was charged with 36 charges related to raping 13 women over a six-month span.
An Oklahoma jury convicted him on 18 of those charges.
Holtzclaw cried after being handed a guilty verdict.
“I didn’t do it,” he whispered to the jury as tears rolled down his face.
Before his appeal this week, issues surrounding DNA were kept silent by the court for 17 months because police personnel records are confidential under Oklahoma law.
“This case involved a sexual predator who happened to be employed, most unfortunately, as an Oklahoma City police officer,” Judge David B. Lewis said about his decision to uphold Holtzclaw’s 263-year prison sentence.
“He used his position of authority to intimidate and prey on vulnerable victims,” the presiding judge wrote.
Judge Lewis even went to call Holtzclaw’s arguments were worthless.
“His arguments attacking the convictions are unavailing,” he said.
Jenny Holtzclaw was apparently offended by Judge Lewis’ remarks.
“We vehemently disagree with the vicious and false assertion in Judge David Lewis’s concurrence that Daniel was a ‘sexual predator’ who abused his authority. It was detectives and prosecutors who abused their authority to manufacture false allegations against Daniel,” she after the judges’ decision.
Daniel’s father, Eric, also described becoming emotional and described the impact the case has had on Daniel and the rest of his family members.
“We’re devastated. It’s no doubt about it.”
“We know he’s innocent. That’s the big thing. He is 100% adamant about it. Our family is [too]. It’s tough.”
David Prater, the Oklahoma County district attorney who prosecuted the rape cases against Holtzclaw declined to comment after the appeals court’s decision.
The spokesman for the state Attorney General Mike Hunter who worked on the appeal also declined comment because the case was ongoing.
Rev. T Sheri Dickerson, the executive director of Black Lives Matter in Oklahoma City, says Holtzclaw was convicted of raping 13 women because he is guilty.
“I celebrated in the fact that justice continues to be served,” Dickerson said.
“The wheels of justice turned correctly.
In recent years, hundreds police officers lost their jobs every year following sexual assault charges.
Most of them are merely placed on administrative leave or paid leave.
Over a six year span, about 1,000 officers across the U.S. gave up their law enforcement licenses in exchange for leniency for charges of sexual misconduct, according to an investigation by the Associated Press.
In most cases, prosecutors agree to deals with police officers to give up their license to be a cop anywhere in the country in exchange for severely reduced sentences.
In some cases, officers convicted of rape avoid jail altogether by surrendering their badge and law enforcement license, as KVUE uncovered in May.
Watch that video and read about why Oklahoma’s so-called “video vigilante” Brian Bates says Holtzclaw is innocent below.