Several women who were sexually assaulted by former Oklahoma City officer Daniel Holtzclaw addressed the media Friday, sharing their thoughts on the guilty verdict and the pain they’ve lived with since their encounter with the serial rapist.
Jannie Ligons, who reported Holtzclaw to the police, was joined by other victims outside of the Oklahoma County District Courthouse with civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who represented five of the victims.
Ligons credited her faith to surviving her assault. She was met by applause and cheer after stating, “He picked the wrong lady to stop that night.” Ligons, 57, is being credited with uncovering Holtzclaw’s attacks on Black women. Her testimony helped uncover a dozen other cases where the officer used the authority of his badge to rape Black women as young as 17-years-old.
The New York Times reports:
“I was so afraid, and I was out there so helpless,” Ms. Ligons said.
God’s will, he let me live. He let me live and tell this story like a lot of victims are not able to do.”
Sharday Hill said at the news conference on Friday that Mr. Holtzclaw had assaulted her while she was handcuffed. “I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “I felt I was in survival mode, so I had to do what he wanted me to do.”
Ms. Hill earlier told the authorities: “I thought stuff like that only just really happened on movies. I couldn’t believe what was going on was really going on.”
Crump expressed dismay with mainstream media for not reporting the case as thoroughly as the other reported attacks on African-Americans and the police. The attorney also gave thanks to the all white-jury who found the former officer guilty of 18 out of 36 charges.
Fox 25 reports:
“This isn’t just a celebration of victory, it’s a celebration of courage,” Crump said. “Why is there no national outcry over a serial rapist with a badge? Some might not consider them model citizens but they were citizens. They were Americans.”
Crump added more lawsuits from the victims are expected to follow. Holtzclaw is facing over 200 years in prison for the assaults. Prosecutors are hoping to have the 29-year-old serve his sentences consecutively.