Jury: Former Oklahoma City police officer found guilty on 18 counts

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OKLAHOMA CITY – After listening to several weeks of testimony and four days of deliberating, a jury has found a former Oklahoma City police officer accused of sex crimes guilty on 18 counts.

Daniel Holtzclaw is accused of sexually assaulting 13 women while on duty as an Oklahoma City police officer.

In August 2014, the state charged Holtzclaw with 36 felony counts of rape, sexual battery, indecent exposure and forcible oral sodomy after the 13 women came forward, claiming the officer assaulted them while they were in custody or inside his police car.

In all, the jury heard 13 accusers’ stories of assault.

Throughout the trial, state prosecutors talked about skin cells found inside and outside Holtzclaw’s pants, around the zipper area.

As detectives spoke with various accusers in their investigation, they explained to the jury they took DNA samples, trying to find a match to those skin cells.

Prosecutors say that match ultimately came from a then 17-year-old girl, who testified she was raped by the former officer outside her mother’s home.

Forensic analysts discussed how there was more DNA found near the zipper as well, but not enough to find a second full match.

The state rested its case Wednesday, Dec. 2, just before 3 p.m.

The first and only witness up for the defense was the former girlfriend of Holtzclaw.

The woman testified that Holtzclaw regularly read her Bible scriptures. She said that in a year of dating, she had never noticed any odd or sexually aggressive behavior.

Early on in the investigation, detectives discussed how Holtzclaw claimed he had tried to have sex with his former girlfriend, hours after he was accused of assaulting a woman.

That accuser was the first to come forward to police in the summer of last year.

The former girlfriend has denied this sexual attempt ever took place, but testified she had taken a sleeping aid hours before, and it’s possible she simply doesn’t remember this sexual encounter.

After calling just one witness, the defense rested its case, despite listing 74 witnesses.

Holtzclaw waived his right to testify.

Jurors heard closing arguments Monday, Dec. 7.

After four days of deliberating, the jury found Holtzclaw guilty on 18 counts.

They recommend he be sentenced to a total of 263 years.