“I can now rest, knowing he’s in prison,” Closure for Holtzclaw victims after a whirlwind day in court

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OKLAHOMA - The trial of Daniel Holtzclaw will stick in the minds of many for some time.

The case, which topped headlines and trended nationally on Twitter, came to a head on Thursday, with a judge sentence of 263 consecutive years.

Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City Police officer, was found guilty on 18 sexual assault charges back in December.

He was accused of assaulting 13 women while on duty.

"No doubt, this was a very tiring trial," said Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger. "The jury should be commended. They stuck with it."

Gieger was the lead prosecutor in the case, who was in the courtroom for more than five weeks of testimony.

"I believe Mr. Holtzclaw has used a position of power and authority, and intimidation tactics to victimize each one of these ladies," he said.

One of those victimized was Jannie Ligons, the first woman to come forward in the case.

"I just thank the God up above for allowing me to stand here," Ligons said.

Ligons was one of several victims who stood up in court, reading powerful statements to the judge and Holtzclaw himself.

A crowd gathered outside the courtroom to hear Ligons deliver her message again.

"I've changed how I lived for almost two years, so I definitely want my life back - a life I had before he took it away from me," she said.

“Thank God for those who do believe us," said Sharday Hill, another Holtzclaw accuser. "No matter how powerful he was and how vulnerable and helpless we were, he had no power to do what was done to us.”

However, sentencing was delayed for more than three hours due to a motion for a new trial.

That motion was centered around a Facebook post by an Oklahoma City police detective.

Defense Attorney Scott Adams claimed the post presented new evidence, to which prosecutors disagreed.

That detective ultimately took the stand on Thursday, stating he was barely involved in the investigation and he simply posted "office rumors."

"It does point out that a careless, reckless, ridiculous Facebook post by any person can really interfere with the justice process," said District Attorney David Prater.

That motion was ultimately denied.

The DA assured women Holtzclaw would not do this again.

“Men who victimize women, this is what's going to happen to you. We will lock you up,” Prater said. “This about the victimization of women no matter what color, and that predators are out there not just going after compromised African American women but also compromised Native American women, Hispanic women, Asian women and white women."

For many, this case was about race.

“A police officer has gone to prison for life for something done to black women,” one advocate said.

“A message for black women and black girls that you can come forward and state your case and get justice,” said Grace Franklin, another advocate with OKC Artists for Justice.

An emotionless Holtzclaw was led out in shackles, facing 263 years in prison - a decision that was music to the ears of supporters and the survivors they celebrate.

"I can now rest, knowing he's in prison, which allows me of being able to live my life without looking behind my shoulders," Ligons said. “Justice was served today. I just know how glad I am and how proud I am, especially for all the victims - how we were traumatized and all the things we had to go through.”

Holtzclaw will be moved by the Department of Corrections to a new facility on Monday.

His defense team plans to appeal today's decision.

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