The Oklahoma prosecutor says rapist Daniel Holtzclaw targeted women “he could count on not telling”.
A former Oklahoma police officer has been found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting more than a dozen black women in a low-income neighbourhood he patrolled.
Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, was convicted of rape, sexual battery and other charges.
The trial heard that Holtzclaw preyed on 13 victims aged 17 to 57, most of them with police records, on the northeast side of Oklahoma City.
The 6ft 2in former Eastern Michigan University football player would often give them an ultimatum – sex or jail.
A 17-year-old girl told how he raped her on her mother’s enclosed porch.
A 23-year-old woman told the court he assaulted her while she was handcuffed to a hospital bed, telling her to stay still so that her heart monitor would not activate.
A number of other women testified Holtzclaw raped them inside their homes.
He raped one victim in her own bedroom after telling her: “This is better than the county (jail).”
He often began the assaults under the pretext of checking for drugs, even though many of his victims realised a female officer should have been carrying out such body searches.
Most of them did not report the attacks because they did not think the authorities would believe them.
“He didn’t choose CEOs or soccer moms,” said prosecutor Lori McConnell. “He chose women he could count on not telling.”
Holtzclaw’s series of attacks ended after he sexually assaulted a 57-year-old grandmother during a traffic stop on 18 June 2014.
The victim, who was driving home after playing dominos with a friend, immediately reported him to the police.
He was arrested outside his gym last August.
Holtzclaw’s lawyer portrayed him as a model officer and questioned the credibility of the women who testified against him.
As he fired Holtzclaw in January, Oklahoma City police Chief Bill Citty wrote: “Your offences 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.”
Holtzclaw faces up to life in prison.