(CNN)Daniel Holtzclaw, the ex-Oklahoma City officer convicted of rape and other charges after he preyed on African-American women over six months, was sentenced Thursday to 263 years in prison, as recommended by the jury, according to his attorney.
The sentence comes just over a month after a sobbing Holtzclaw was convicted on 18 of 36 counts, including four counts of first-degree rape and four counts of forced oral sodomy.
Prosecutors said Holtzclaw selected victims in one of Oklahoma City’s poorest neighborhoods based on their criminal histories, assuming their drug or prostitution records would undermine any claims they might make against him.
Then, he would subject them to assaults that escalated from groping to oral sodomy and rape, according to the testimony of 13 victims. Holtzclaw, whose father is a police lieutenant on another force, waived his right to testify.
Two of those women shared their stories with CNN on Wednesday, recounting horrific memories of being forced to perform sexual acts by a serial rapist with a badge who was supposed to protect and serve.
Because the victims are black, race has been regularly invoked in the case. His trial began in November and was criticized by activists after an all-white jury was chosen. Protesters repeatedly gathered outside.
Holtzclaw, whose father is white and mother is Japanese, is identified as “Asian or Pacific Islander” by court records.
Attorney Benjamin Crump, who represented the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, has criticized the media, asking, “Where is the national outcry for their justice?”
Crump praised the sentence Thursday saying it was “a landmark victory.”
“All the women were victims, from the 17-year old teenager to the 57-year old grandmother. This is a statement for 400 years of racism, oppression and sexual assault of black women; a statement of victory not only for the ‘OKC 13,’ but for so many unknown women,” Crump said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Holtzclaw’s lawyers asked for a new trial, alleging prosecutors did not disclose newly discovered evidence — including DNA evidence and the accounts of accusers who falsely claimed to be victims — to the defense, according to CNN affiliate KFOR. Court documents posted on the station’s website say a detective referenced the evidence in a Facebook post.
The judge denied the motion for a new trial.
The defense team filed for an appeal in court on Thursday, and it was denied, Crump said. They plan to appeal again, he said, but he was not sure what arguments they will use.
Holtzclaw’s attorneys aren’t the only ones declaring his innocence, despite the verdict. His sister also runs a blog dedicated to telling her brother’s “untold story.”
See More- Source: CNN