Trial for Former Police Officer Accused of Sexually Assaulting 13 Women Begins in Oklahoma

The trial for former Oklahoma police officer Daniel Holtzclaw is underway in Oklahoma County District Court. Holtzclaw is accused of assaulting 13 Black women while on duty. He is charged with 36 counts, including six counts of first-degree rape.

Hoytzclaw's attorney, Scott Adams, told jurors Holtzclaw did come in contact with the 13 women while on patrol but denies the sexual assaults. During the trial Adams offered an explanation of how DNA from a 17-year-old girl got inside a pair of Holtzclaw's pants, News OK reports.
"He didn't do anything sexual ... . It's transfer DNA," Adams said in his opening statement. Holtzclaw's attorney told the jurors that the DNA was transferred to Hoytzclaw's pants when he went to the restroom after interacting with the girl.

Prosecutors gave their opening statement on Tuesday also. Assistant District Attorney Gayland Geiger spent over an hour describing the alleged crimes and more than 30 minutes reading through the counts against Holtzclaw.

During his opening statement Geiger explained to jurors that Holtzclaw forced a woman into giving oral sex under threat of arrest and provided details about the multiple accusations of rapes and sexual abuse.

A jury has been selected in the trial.

Although all of Holtzclaw's victims were Black, the eight men and four women who will serve on the jury are all white. Attorneys still have to select two alternates.

Holtzclaw was fired from The Oklahoma City Police Department in January after being arrested in August 2014. Seven victims initially came forward and six victims were identified after charges were filed.

Police Chief Bill Citty said that several of the women Holtzclaw assaulted were forced to perform oral sex on him.
“Traffic stops, some of the individuals were actually just walking," Citty said. "Walking in their neighborhood and they were stopped, you know, searched, threatened in some way with arrest or something to that extent. And as a result of that, actually coerced them into providing sexual favors to him.”

Holtzclaw has pleaded not guilty.

Photo: AP / Sue Ogrocki