The trial of the former Oklahoma City police officer who stands accused of raping and sexually assaulting 13 black women has gotten off to a harrowing start, with the court hearing absolutely chilling testimony from one of the now-fired officer’s alleged victims.
The witness, who has not been named, took the stand on Thursday, after the conclusion of a controversial jury selection process that resulted in a jury of eight men and four women, all of them white.
With tears in her eyes, the witness told jurors that 28-year-old Daniel Holtzclaw pulled her over around 2 a.m. one night in June 2014 and put her in the back of his squad car after searching her vehicle and finding nothing suspicious. The witness testified that Holtzclaw asked her, “How do I know you don't have anything in your bra?" and forced her to lift up her shirt and bra.
Kyle Schwab, a reporter with the Oklahoman who is covering the trial, has more:
“He wanted me to give him oral sex,” she said under prosecution’s questioning.
“How did you know that?” the prosecutor asked.
“Because he unzipped his pants and took it out,” she said.
She told the jurors she pleaded with the officer by saying “Sir, you’re not supposed to do this.”
The witness said Holtzclaw also told her, “I just got off work. I’m tired. I don’t have all night.” According to the witness, Holtzclaw let her go without a ticket after she complied with his demands; her daughter later told the court that her mother came to her house, crying and distraught, before driving to the police station to report the incident.
In cross-examination, a defense lawyer for Holtzclaw questioned the witness about whether she had smoked marijuana the night of the alleged assault. He also brought up the civil suit she has filed against Holtzclaw and Oklahoma City, asking her if she was hoping to get paid as a result of her accusations. The witness told the lawyer she was only looking for justice.
While the witness’s name has not been reported, her testimony indicates that she is the same woman who has previously been identified in police reports as J.L., a 57-year-old grandmother. At a hearing last year, J.L. testified about the night she was allegedly assaulted by Holtzclaw; unlike the other women who have since accused the officer of detaining them and forcing himself on them, J.L. reported the incident to the police, which led to an investigation that you can read about in this extensive BuzzFeed report.