Daniel Holtzclaw, the Oklahoma police officer convicted of raping and sexually assaulting Black women while on duty, has been sentenced to 263 years in prison, according to a tweet from the Associated Press. It is the maximum sentence for all the charges, which will be served consecutively.
In December, Holtzclaw was convicted of 18 counts of sexual assault, including four counts of first degree rape and one of second degree rape. The former officer was accused of targeting his victims, who were all Black, according to race and using criminal histories to keep them quiet. According to testimony in the trial, he told one victim “this is better than county jail” as he raped her. Holtzclaw's crimes were revealed when he mistakenly targeted a 57-year-old grandmother who had no criminal record or history of drug abuse to discredit her.
Thursday's sentencing was originally scheduled for 10 a.m. CT, but was delayed for over two hours while judges considered the defense's request for a new trial. According to KFOR News, Holtzclaw’s attorney moved for a new trial on Wednesday night, claiming that a Facebook post made by a police detective after the jury verdict implied that there was evidence withheld from the defense. The sentencing reconvened at 1:30 p.m., when the request for a new trial was denied. Before the sentencing, several of the victims made statements on how Holtzclaw's actions had impacted them. According to Tom George, a Oklahoma City Fox News reporter present in the courtroom, the first victim to speak asked that Holtzclaw be sentenced to the full 263 years, saying that the trauma affected her physically and emotionally. "I want my life back," she said.