Daniel Holtzclaw, the disgraced former Oklahoma City police officer convicted in the rape and sexual assault of seven black women and one underage black girl, has broken his silence, proclaiming his innocence and denigrating everyone who worked on the case from the prosecution and detectives to the victims.
“I have never sexually assaulted anyone,” Holtzclaw told ABC reporter Juju Chang in a phone interview that was aired on news program 20/20 Friday night, which included Holtzclaw, his family, jurors and victim Jannie Ligons.
“I want people to hear from me,” he continued. “I want them to hear from my voice… how do I respond to these questions so they could see the truth. I have nothing to hide and what I want the public to see is my personal side to the story.”
He added: “I am not guilty of those crimes. But what I did is I protected and served, and there was a vendetta as far as the detectives, as far as the prosecution…”
Holtzclaw, 29, never testified in court, and this interview is the first time we hear directly from the convicted cop. In December 2015, he was found guilty of 18 of the 36 charges he faced, including stalking, indecent exposure, and forcible oral sodomy and rape. He was sentenced to 263 years.
As reported by Jezebel, Holtzclaw said the detectives who handled his case “handed [the victims] a lottery ticket,” by approaching women and asking if they had been sexually assaulted by a cop. “Now they’re going to be billionaires,” he said.
Incredibly it didn’t end there. Holtzclaw also said he was scapegoated to appease race relations in the city. “If they didn’t convict me, there would be the next Ferguson in Oklahoma,” he said.
We also hear from the former officer’s family, including his father Eric Holtzclaw, and his girlfriend, who predictably defended him, asking why would he choose “these people.”
“Why these people?” she said. “He could have found people on the northside (of town).”
Nearly all of Holtzclaw’s victims—all African-American women—had prior skirmishes with the law, including drug abuse, warrants or convictions for prostitution. Holtzclaw targeted women in poor neighborhoods (ostensibly not the “northside”) with criminal records, until Jannie Ligons, a 57-year-old grandmother reported the incident to police.
Holtzclaw dragged Ligons’ name through the mud as well: “Let’s get the factual facts out there. She’s [Jannie Ligons] not innocent the way people think she is. She had a bust in the ‘80s … But we couldn’t present that to the jury … This is not a woman that’s, you know, a soccer mom or someone that’s credible in society.”
Holtzclaw said he plans to appeal his conviction.
Read more at Jezebel.