Oklahoma City cop accused of sexually assaulting women while on duty

Oklahoma City cop accused of sexually assaulting women while on duty
Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Ken Holtzclaw is accused of sexually abusing at least seven women during motor vehicle stops while he was on patrol, prosecutors said. (Oklahoma City Police Department)

An Oklahoma City police officer and former college football star is accused of forcing at least seven women to perform sexual favors for him while he was on patrol, law enforcement officials say.

Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, 27, was arrested Thursday afternoon after a two-month investigation revealed he repeatedly forced women to expose themselves or have sex during stops, Oklahoma County Dist. Atty. David Prater said at a news conference.


Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty said a woman told police in June that she had been pulled over by an officer and forced to perform oral sex during a traffic stop.

Holtzclaw was immediately placed on administrative leave while officers interviewed other women who also said they had been victimized by the officer, Citty said.

"The type of acts that were committed were anywhere from requiring the females to expose themselves to fondling the females, and there was one individual out of all seven that was actually sexually assaulted," Citty said.

Prater said all of the women were black and between the ages of 34 and 58. Holtzclaw, who has been an officer for three years, normally patrolled the northeastern part of the city between 4 p.m. and 2 a.m., Prater said.

He was arrested outside a gym and remains at the Oklahoma County jail in lieu of a $5-million bond. Prater said he expected to file charges of rape, forcible sodomy, sexual battery and indecent exposure next week.

The rape charge alone could result in life in prison without the possibility of parole, Prater said.

Capt. Dexter Nelson, chief spokesman for the Oklahoma City Pollice Department, told the Los Angeles Times that Holtzclaw had been on patrol for only about 18 months. Though he was hired in 2011, the city's officers usually aren't assigned to street patrol until more than a year after they are hired.

Nelson said that each assault occurred during "some type of police contact" but that they varied from traffic stops to incidents in which Holtzclaw simply encountered someone on the street. At least one occurred while Holtzclaw was off-duty but in his police cruiser, Nelson said.

Holtzclaw was always on patrol by himself, and Oklahoma City police cruisers do not have dashboard cameras, Nelson said.

Though most of the victims did not come forward on their own, Nelson said, the department identified the incidents and obtained statements from several of the women by tracking Holtzclaw's on-duty movements. Police cruisers are equipped with GPS tracking, Nelson said.

Holtzclaw was a linebacker for Eastern Michigan University from 2005 through 2008 and grew up in Enid, Okla., where he graduated from Enid High School and was a member of the varsity football team, according to the college's website. 

Geoff Larcom, director of media relations for the university, told the Los Angeles Times that no complaints were filed against Holtzclaw with the campus police department while he was a student there.

Asked if police were searching for additional victims, Nelson said only that the investigation was ongoing.

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for breaking news