Court’s Opinion Released Following Denial Of Daniel Holtzclaw’s Appeal
OKLAHOMA CITY - After more than 30 months, the Court of Criminal Appeals of the State of Oklahoma has denied Daniel Holtzclaw’s criminal appeal. The former Oklahoma City Police officer was convicted of rape and sexual assault.
In 2015, Daniel Holtzclaw was found guilty on 18 counts that included the rape and sexually assault of eight women. He was acquitted of 18 other charges. Holtzclaw was sentenced to 263 years in prison.
His family said the fight is not over. They are ready to take the next steps to prove his innocence.
“We'll go to a post-conviction relief and go to the federal system and hopefully right this tremendous wrong that's occurred here in the Oklahoma judicial system,” said Eric Holtzclaw, Daniel’s father.
“We want Oklahoma, and the world to know, that Daniel is innocent of each and every one of the false accusations against him. We believe that all of the powerful people directly involved in his wrongful conviction know it,” said Jenny Holtzclaw, Daniel’s sister.
His denied appeal challenged evidence, specifically the DNA evidence in the case.
Holtzclaw and his attorneys said it was flawed.
The appeal also challenged the "circus atmosphere" during the trial and the fact that Holtzclaw had ineffective counsel.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said the opinion written in response to the appeal speaks for itself.
Read full opinion below:
Back in 2017, Holtzclaw spoke with News 9’s Lisa Monahan.
He told her at that time that he thought he was set up and someone was tampering with the evidence.
Around that same time, News 9 learned there had been an unusual, closed hearing in district court. That raised questions about where the case was headed.
News 9 then requested surveillance recordings from the Oklahoma County courthouse. Those cameras captured a team of prosecutors, including the lead in Holtzclaw’s case arriving ahead of the proceedings.
Holtzclaw or his defense were not privy to the information discussed during the two-day secret hearing.
"I'm extremely upset about it because my trial was unfair and biased, and still to this day it is that way,” Holtzclaw told Lisa Monahan from prison. “There were two full days where the secret hearing was going on and my lawyer wasn't allowed to be there, let alone know about it. Also, the lead prosecutor in my trial who lied gets to weigh in on a response or have his input. How is that in any way, shape or form fair to me?"
In his appeal, Holtzclaw argues a "secondary transfer, rather than direct sexual contact" is the explanation for the findings.
As for victim advocates, they said justice was done.
“Today, we are actually celebrating them upholding justice against the rapist Daniel Holtzclaw,” said Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson the Director for Black Lives Matter OKC.
“If he appeals again, and it's and the outcome is different, we would be ready just like every other organization in the community would be ready,” said Grace Franklin, Executive Director and Co-Founder of OKC Artists for Justice.
Both victim advocates and the family of Daniel Holtzclaw held news conferences today.
We have provided links to both below: