Every year, there are roughly 293,000 sexual assaults in the United States. For every hundred of these horrific attacks, only thirty-two of them will be reported to police. Of those thirty-two, only seven will lead to an arrest. Three of those seven will be referred to prosecutors and just two rapists will ever serve a day in prison. The statistics are absolutely horrifying and the impact these acts of violence leave on victims last a lifetime. What’s possibly even more terrifying than the frequency of these crimes, are the monsters who commit them. Eighty-two percent of sexual assaults are carried out by someone the victim knows.
So, when we find out that a police officer used his position to prey on more than a dozen vulnerable women, it should make you sick. Fortunately, for the victims of an Oklahoma cop who was convicted of these heinous acts, they will sleep soundly knowing their perpetrator will never be able to hurt anyone ever again.
Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw was sentenced to 263 years in prison on Thursday for charges stemming from the rapes of thirteen women. Think Progress reported that:
Holtzclaw was convicted in December on 18 separate counts of rape, sexual battery, forcible sodomy, and procuring lewd exposure. He had been charged with 36 separate counts stemming from the allegations of 13 different women. The 18 convictions against Holtzclaw came from charges levied by eight of those 13 accusers, and had a maximum combined sentence of 263 years. The judge could have decided to let him serve some of the terms concurrently, which might well have meant he’d have lived long enough to come out of prison in the future.
All thirteen victims of this disgrace to badge and country were African-American — one was just seventeen years old. Prosecutors say that Holtzclaw used his position on the police force to find the women. When he ran into females on duty, he’d run their names through his computer system and anyone who had a warrant or previous criminal history would go to the top of his list.
“He didn’t choose CEOs or soccer moms. He chose women he could count on not telling what he was doing,” prosecutor Lori McConnell said in closing arguments. “He counted on the fact no one would believe them and no one would care.”
This former public servant’s crimes are some of the worst. He was only on the police force for about three years when he was arrested, and it sounds like he spent the whole time victimizing vulnerable women whom he believed would, and could, never tell.
It’s sounds as if the only reason he ever became a cop was so that he would have an endless pool of prey. As we know, rape is very rarely (if ever) about sexual gratification, it is most often about power. Predators like the feeling of having complete control over their victim, and for Holtzclaw he was in the perfect position to carry out his nefarious crimes. The last person a woman would suspect would assault them is a police officer, who is ostensibly charged with defending them. Law enforcement officials take an oath to serve and protect the people in their communities — although African-Americans in our nation know a very different story.
When a police officer violates this oath and hurts the very people he promised to protect, it doesn’t just hurt his victims, it hurts the entire community. Fortunately for his victims, Judge Timothy Henderson, a former police officer himself, agreed and ensured that Holtzclaw would never see outside of a prison wall again.