Former Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, has been sentenced to serve 263 years behind bars—the maximum sentence—for the rapes and sexual assaults of seven black women and one underage black girl.
He will serve each year consecutively.
During the sentencing hearing, Holtzclaw’s victims spoke out about how traumatic their experiences were. Janie Liggons, 59, the grandmother who blew the whistle on Holtzclaw after he sexually assaulted her, said that she “just wanted her life back.”
In December, Holtzclaw was found guilty of 18 of the 36 charges brought against him. He was found not guilty of charges brought in the sexual assaults and rapes of five black women.
Sentencing was delayed temporarily as Holtzclaw’s defense team argued for a new trial, claiming that prosecutors withheld evidence that could have helped their client. The lawyers claimed that a detective’s social media post and an interview with a juror compromised proceedings.
Judge Timothy Henderson denied the motion, however, and Holtzclaw was taken back into custody to begin his sentence.
Supporters and organizers crowded the courtroom, including members of the African American Policy Forum and the Black Women’s Blueprint.