Former officer Daniel Holtzclaw found guilty on 18 of 36 charges
Former Oklahoma City Police Department officer Daniel Holtzclaw has been found guilty on 18 charges, including rape and sexual battery.
The verdict came back Thursday evening in Oklahoma County Court. Holtzclaw was found guilty of 18 of his 36 charges. Holtzclaw was found guilty on four counts of first degree rape, 1 count of rape in the second degree, six counts of sexual battery, four counts of forcible oral sodomy and three counts of procuring lewd exhibition. Holtzclaw will be officially sentenced Jan. 21, 2016. On Friday, the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office confirmed Holtzclaw was on suicide watch at the Oklahoma County Jail.
The jury received the case Monday afternoon and deliberated over 40 hours to reach their decision Thursday.
After the verdict was announced, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater praised the work of the jury. When asked about how the African American community will feel about the verdict and case Prater said:
"I hope they understand that the Oklahoma City Police Department and members of the law enforcement community will stand up for any person," Prater said.
Prater also said that during official sentencing his office will work to "make sure he (Holtzclaw) never sees the light of day".
The Oklahoma City Police Department released the following statement following the guilty verdict:
The Oklahoma City Police Department is pleased with the jury's decision regarding the Daniel Holtzclaw trial. It was a long and difficult trial and deliberation process for all involved. It is obvious the jury took their responsibilities very seriously and considered every piece of evidence presented to them.
We are proud of our detectives and prosecutors for a job well done.
To the jury, we thank you for your service.
We are satisfied with the jury's decision and firmly believe justice was served.
YWCA Oklahoma CEO Jan Peery said she was pleased the Holtzclaw was held accountable.
"Oklahoma will continue to lead the nation in the rate of sexual assault until our community decides we won't tolerate it and we all demand perpetrators be held accountable." Peery said. "The Oklahoma City Police Department believed the victims and pursued charges in this case. The YWCA believes the victims as well. We want to publicly acknowledge that the 13 victims in this case acted courageously as they spelled out, in graphic detail, the horrible attacks they suffered."