An Oklahoma City police officer accused of an escalating series of sexual assaults against drug addicts and prostitutes on the city’s northeast side was halted only after he assaulted an apparently law-abiding woman during an early-morning traffic stop, a prosecutor and detectives testified Wednesday.
The woman called 911 after the assault — the first time a woman made a report against officer Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, 27, a prosecutor said during a bond reduction hearing at Oklahoma County District Court.
Holtzclaw was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree rape and several other counts of forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, indecent exposure, burglary and stalking. He is accused of assaulting at least eight women, most while he was on duty. He was arrested Aug. 21.
Wednesday’s hearing was held to determine if Holtzclaw’s bail should be reduced from $5 million. Oklahoma County District Judge Timothy Henderson considered a multitude of factors, including Holtzclaw’s reputation and lack of criminal record, before lowering the bail amount to $500,000.
Prosecutor Gayland Gieger argued that Holtzclaw intentionally victimized people who would not report him. But he became increasingly confident in his actions and eventually victimized a woman who started the investigation by calling police immediately after the incident, Gieger said.
The prosecutor argued against the reduction, saying that based on the evidence, Holtzclaw “is absolutely a danger to the community.”
“There is ample evidence to show that he is a threat and a danger,” Gieger said. “There is ample evidence to show that he should have a very high bond.”
Two Oklahoma City sex crimes detectives testified at Wednesday’s hearing about an escalating pattern of offenses. The detectives said Holtzclaw began forcing women to expose their breasts after stopping the women as they walked on the city’s northeast side. Holtzclaw was on duty at the time. He later began making some of the women perform oral sex on him and had unprotected intercourse with two of the victims, the detectives testified.
All of the victims were black, middle-aged women, authorities said. All of them had histories of drug use or prostitution, except for one woman Holtzclaw is accused of victimizing.
That woman was stopped driving near NE 50 and Lincoln Boulevard after 2 a.m. June 18, when Holtzclaw’s shift ended. Police detective Kim Davis testified that Holtzclaw forced the woman to perform oral sex on him before he left the scene.
Holtzclaw’s on-board computer had been shut off for the night and there was no record of the stop, but detectives were able to find surveillance footage taken at a nearby insurance agency showing an Oklahoma City police car engaged in a traffic stop at that time, Davis said. No other officers logged traffic stops at that location on that night.
Holtzclaw’s father, who is an an Enid police lieutenant, testified on his son’s behalf Wednesday. Also called to the stand on behalf of the three-year Oklahoma City police veteran were a longtime friend and a sportswriter.
The short testimonies of those three witnesses did not delve into Holtzclaw’s past. All three testified that Holtzclaw had never been in trouble with the law or faced serious accusations in the past.
Holtzclaw remained in the Oklahoma County jail Wednesday evening, records show. Should he post bail or be released on bond, he is expected to be placed under house arrest at his parents’ Enid home. He will be forced to wear a GPS ankle monitor. Any guns, badges or uniforms must be surrendered, the judge ruled.
Holtzclaw remained silent but focused throughout the hearing. He did not comment while entering or leaving the courtroom.
“I always knew the $5 million was ridiculous and I really always thought that it would get lowered,” defense attorney Scott Adams said.
“I can’t really say that I disagree with the judge on a case like this. It’s a serious case. ... I think it’s a fair bond, and I think the judge was fair,” he said.