OKLAHOMA CITY – A former Oklahoma City police officer who was convicted of rape will soon find out if he will get a second chance in court.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals says a ruling on Daniel Holtzclaw’s appeal is expected to be announced on Thursday.
The case grabbed national headlines after 13 Oklahoma City women accused former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw of sexual attacks while on duty for the police department.
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 that 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.
In 2015, a jury convicted Holtzclaw of 18 felony charges involving eight of the 13 accusers.
He was sentenced to 263 years in prison.
His defense team ultimately filed an appeal, challenging the evidence used in the case and the “circus atmosphere” surrounding the trial. Holtzclaw’s team says the DNA evidence used in the case could have gotten on his clothes through non-sexual contact.
In an exclusive interview in November of 2016, Holtzclaw told NewsChannel 4 that he is confident he will get a new trial.
“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.