OKLAHOMA CITY - Former Oklahoma City police officer and convicted rapist Daniel Holtzclaw is back in the spotlight after a controversial billboard questioned the guilty verdicts he received.
It was promoting an upcoming TV piece about Holtzclaw’s trial and interviews with people who claim he was wrongfully convicted.
NewsChannel 4 spoke exclusively with Daniel Holtzclaw from prison Tuesday night.
He said he was disappointed the billboard has been taken down, but he’s more focused on his appeal.
He said he’s confident he’ll get a new trial.
“I’m aware that the billboard has come down, and I’m a little disheartened. But I’m encouraged by the ongoing supporters who believe in my innocence,” Holtzclaw said.
The billboard was up at I-44 and Kelley with a picture of Holtzclaw in his orange jumpsuit and the words, “what if he didn’t do it?”
Victims’ advocate Grace Franklin with OKC Artists for Justice said she was shocked when she saw the billboard.
She led the group of demonstrators at Holtzclaw’s trial.
“I couldn’t believe that someone would have the gall to put that on this side of the community, on the northeast side of Oklahoma city at I-44 and Kelley. It was so disturbing and such a slap in the face to those survivors,” Franklin said.
“This billboard didn’t claim Daniel was innocent. This billboard didn’t accuse the accusers of being liars, drug addicts, of any of those things. It simply asked a question... 'what if he didn’t do it,'” Brian Bates said.
Bates was the private investigator on Holtzclaw’s defense team and is featured in the series that paid for the billboard.
“That billboard being up wasn't going to do anything to prove Daniel was guilty or innocent. The show it's promoting will help educate an awful lot of people of the facts that have yet to come out until now,” Bates said.
Right now, Holtzclaw’s appeal is pending.
His attorneys want more time who says it was revealed that, along with one of the alleged victim’s DNA, another man’s DNA was found on Holtzclaw’s pants.
That evidence was never provided to the jury that convicted him.
“I’m very confident in my appellate lawyers I`m confident in my team and the support that I have. I`m very blessed to have that. I`m confident that all the discovery we have found throughout the trial, I`m pretty positive I`m going to get a retrial,” Holtzclaw said.
Tyler Media took the billboard down saying it was in the best interest of the community.
The media outlet producing the series released a statement saying part:
“CRTV supports free speech. We are disappointed that Tyler Media caved in to pressure to take down the billboard.” – CRTV
"This is a perfect example of why platforms like CRTV are needed," said Chris Crane, CRTV Chief Content Officer. "Too often, if an opinion isn’t sanctioned by the Left, it is simply stamped out."