When a jury announced that Daniel Holtzclaw would spend up to 236 years in jail this Thursday, Holtzclaw dropped his head and broke out into a loud cry. The nation cheered.
Holtzclaw formerly served as a police officer in Oklahoma City, during which time he was accused of raping 13 black women over a period of seven months. His victims ranged from 17 to 57 years old. Of the 36 charges, jurors found Holtzclaw guilty of 18 — including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and forced sodomy.
That Holtzclaw’s actions even made it into the courtroom surprised many, including the victims themselves. “I didn’t think anyone would believe me,” one woman testified. “I’m a black female.”
That Holtzclaw was found guilty also surprised some: an all-white jury of eight men and four women presided over the case, deliberating for 45 hours before finding Holtzclaw guilty.