US policeman jailed for life for rape

Daniel Holtzclaw,Image copyright

A police officer has been sentenced to life in prison for raping and sexually assaulting black women in the poor part of Oklahoma where he worked.

Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, stopped the women while out on patrol in Oklahoma City and forced himself on them.

Last month, he was convinced of assault on eight victims, including a grandmother and a 17-year-old.

On Thursday, a district judge sentenced him to 263 years, in line with what jurors recommended.

During the trial, Holtzclaw’s lawyer insisted his client had been attempting to help the drug addicts and prostitutes he encountered in his work. Many of the women had arrest records or histories of drug abuse.

The court heard from several women who described abuse at the hands of the officer and the feeling that their lives were threatened.

All of his accusers were black. Holtzclaw is half-white and half-Japanese.

He cried when the verdicts were delivered last month.

Rallying support for ‘imperfect’ accusers

Media captionDaniel Holtzclaw cried as the guilty verdicts were read out in December

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