Ex-Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw wept Thursday as he was found guilty of first-degree rape, one of 18 charges he was convicted of in his crime spree against black women.
Holtzclaw, who turned 29 on Thursday, was convicted of sexually abusing eight of 13 black women who testified in the trial, including the grandmother whose initial report to authorities in June 2014 triggered the probe. Among the charges he was convicted on included four counts of first-degree rape and four of forced oral sodomy.
Prosecutors said Holtzclaw strategically chose black women with past drug or prostitution convictions to prey on, performing different sex acts on them.
"He didn't choose CEOs or soccer moms; he chose women he could count on not telling what he was doing," prosecutors said.
When Holtzclaw was fired from the police dept. in January, Oklahoma City Police Chief William Citty told him in a letter, "Your offenses committed against women in our community constitute the greatest abuse of police authority I have witnessed in my 37 years as a member of this agency."
Following the conviction, the dept. said in a statement, "We are satisfied with the jury's decision and firmly believe justice was served."
In the wake of the decision from the jury — which was controversially composed of eight men and four women, all white — a group of Holtzclaw's victims and activists gathered for a news conference on the courthouse steps, with some singing "Happy Birthday" to mock the disgraced sex offender.
Holtzclaw could receive more than 200 years in prison when he returns to court for his sentencing next month. District Attorney David Prater said his office is "going to ask the judge to make sure that this defendant never sees the light of day."