OKC Police Officer Accused of Sexual Assaults

Earlier this month, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper was named in a lawsuit accusing him of rape. Now, an Oklahoma City police officer has also been accused of sexually assaulting women while on duty. The allegations claim that these men, sworn to protect public safety, instead used their badges and their authority as implements of fear to intimidate women and coerce or force them to perform sex acts. While Trooper Eric Roberts has not been arrested or charged pending an investigation into the allegations against him, Oklahoma City Police arrested one of their own last week. On Thursday, Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong issued an arrest warrant for Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, 27, indicating that his bail was set at $5 million. Holtzclaw was arrested later that afternoon on complaints of multiple counts of first degree rape, rape by instrumentation, forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery and indecent exposure. Hotlzclaw is accused of sexually assaulting at least 7 women. Police have taken statements from 6 of those women, but Oklahoma Police Chief Bill Citty says that there may be more victims who have not come forward. Victims are encouraged to call the Oklahoma City police police sex crimes unit at (405) 297-1133. Reports indicate that Holtzclaw, a 3-year-veteran of the police force, would stop women in traffic stops or as they walked through neighborhoods in northeast Oklahoma City during his 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. shift. After stopping the women, he would allegedly order them to expose themselves. In some cases, he is accused of fondling or groping the women. In at least one case, he is accused of raping a woman. The police officer's alleged victims are all black women aged 34 to 58. The alleged incidents occurred between February and June of this year, and police began investigating Holtzclaw and reviewing his previous traffic stops after one woman filed a complaint in June. The officer was placed on leave immediately upon the June 18 complaint. The case has received national attention, not only because, if true, it is a case of egregious abuse of power, but also because Holtzclaw is an ex-college football player --an Eastern Michigan linebacker who tried out with the Detroit Lions. District Attorney David Prater expects that formal charges will be filed this week. In cases where rape is perpetrated by an on-duty law enforcement officer, the uniform, badge, and service weapon can be considered implements of fear used to threaten and intimidate a victim. First degree rape, which includes rape by force or fear, is punishable by a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.        

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