OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied a motion by two lawyers who hoped to file a brief in support of the appeal of a former Oklahoma City police officer convicted of sexually assaulting women while on duty.
The case grabbed national headlines after 13 Oklahoma City women accused former Oklahoma City 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 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.
After four extensions, Holtzclaw’s defense team filed an appeal in the case earlier this year.
The defense claims that the prosecution had insufficient evidence, adding that “the alleged ‘procuring lewd exhibition’ occurred in public view; nor was there any evidence that the alleged rape and oral sodomy counts were accomplished by means of the use or threat of force or violence; and the evidence supporting the sexual battery counts was insufficient to allow any rational trier of fact to find the defendant guilty of those offenses beyond a reasonable doubt.”
In a motion filed on March 9, 2017, Holtzclaw’s attorneys asked that two lawyers be allowed to submit a brief in support of the former officer’s appeal.
According to the motion, Randall T. Coyne, a former OU law professor, and J. Christian Adams, a former attorney for the Voting Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, both believe that the “troubling circumstances under which Holtzclaw’s case was tried to the jury violated his fundamental constitutional right to due process and a fair trial.”
Holtzclaw’s attorneys asked that Coyne and Adams be able to submit a brief “of no more than 20 pages” to give the Court their insight on how they believe Holtzclaw did not receive a fair trial.
According to court documents, Coyne and Adams argued the “proposed brief will assist this Court with regard to both the facts and the law in resolving the issue of whether Holtzclaw, under these unique and troubling circumstances, received a fair trial.”
However, Assistant Attorney General Matthew D. Haire filed an objection to the motion, saying that the brief makes “the same arguments as the defendant already has made with the same law and based upon the same facts from the record.”
According to the Enid News and Eagle, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals voted 4-1 to deny the brief filed by Coyne and Adams on behalf of Holtzclaw.
In an exclusive interview in November, 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.