The former Oklahoma City police officer convicted of raping and sexually victimizing at least eight women while on duty was sentenced to 263 years in prison on Thursday after it was determined he did not deserve a new trial.
Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, was told he would spend the rest of his life in prison during an emotionally-charged court appearance.
District Judge Timothy Henderson told Holtzclaw he would serve the term consecutively.
The sentence was handed down hours later than expected, as Holtzclaw’s attorney Scott Adams had filed a request late Wednesday for a new trial, claiming that prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense team.
Detective Jake McClain was called by the defense to explain a Facebook post he wrote after the verdict that backed up the decision to convict Holtzclaw.
After McClain testified that the post, which discussed the investigation process, was just “office gossip,” the request was denied and the sentencing went on as planned.
The sentence was handed down in front of a packed courtroom, as Holtzclaw’s victims and their advocates filled the gallery and spilled out into the hall to be present for the decision.
“There are more people outside the courtroom than inside. A tremendous show of support for these survivors,” civil and human rights organization Black Women’s Blueprint tweeted.
Jannie Ligons, the first of Holtzclaw’s victims to report an assault, said during her impact statement that: “My life changed forever,” according to a FOX 25 reporter at the trial.
“I want my life back,” Liggons said, asking that Holtzclaw be given the full sentence so she can live without looking over her shoulders.
Victim Sherry Ellis reportedly cried as she addressed the court, saying she will never forget being violated by Holtzclaw.
His 17-year-old victim, who testified that Holtzclaw raped her on her mother’s porch, said at times she “felt like she was dying inside.”
Henderson handed down a sentence that was recommended by the jury.
Several of those jurors attended Thursday’s sentencing, invested in seeing the outcome of the six-week trial. “It’s like watching a movie and not seeing the end,” they told FOX 25.
“263 years consecutively! We are rejoicing!!!!” Black Women’s Blueprint tweeted after the decision.
After the decision was made, Holtzclaw was taken back into custody to begin his sentence.
The disgraced officer had sobbed in December as he was found guilty of 18 of the 36 counts brought against him. He was found guilty of four counts of first-degree rape, additional counts of forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, procuring lewd exhibition and second-degree rape.
Prosecutors had said that Holtzclaw preyed on black women in a low-income neighborhood. Several of the 13 women who testified against him said he stopped them while out on patrol.
They testified that Holtzclaw, who is half-white, half-Japanese, would search them to see if they were carrying drug paraphernalia and for outstanding warrants before sexually assaulting them.
Adams maintained during the trial that his client was a model officer whose interactions with drug addicts and prostitutes were distorted.
Adams also attacked the credibility of some of the women, who had arrest records and histories of drug abuse, saying many didn’t come forward until they had been identified by police as possible victims.
Several of Holtzclaw’s victims have reportedly filed civil lawsuits against him and the city in state and federal court.