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Third day of jury deliberation for Oklahoma ex-policeman charged with rape

OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma jury began its third day of deliberations on Wednesday in the case of a former police officer accused of sexually assaulting 13 women while on duty. Daniel Holtzclaw, 28, a former Oklahoma City policeman, is charged wi...

 

OKLAHOMA CITY  - An Oklahoma jury began its third day of deliberations on Wednesday in the case of a former police officer accused of sexually assaulting 13 women while on duty.

Daniel Holtzclaw, 28, a former Oklahoma City policeman, is charged with 36 counts of sexual assault, including six first-degree rape counts for attacks on the women. He could face life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges.

The jury began deliberations on Monday night and worked into the night on Tuesday without reaching a decision. The trial had started more than a month ago.

Protesters have gathered outside the court, demanding that the all-white jury convict the officer based on the physical evidence and the word of the 13 black women, who testified about how they were sexually assaulted.

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In closing arguments on Monday, prosecutors said Holtzclaw, who is mixed race Asian and white, targeted his victims by singling out women he came across while on patrol. He ran background checks and went after those who had outstanding warrants or previous arrests or who carried drugs or drug paraphernalia, prosecutors said.

They said he did this because he did not think authorities would take the victims' word over his if he had to defend himself against sexual assault allegations.

The defense said Holtzclaw was a model police officer who is being set up by a series of unreliable witnesses who are providing tainted and false testimony.

The defense also said that DNA evidence linking Holtzclaw to at least one of the women came through non-sexual contact and denied the accusations of sexual assault and rape.

The 13 women told jurors of assaults that ranged from touching over their clothing to forced oral sex and rape.

On Dec. 2, the prosecution presented its final s

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“This is sensationalism at its finest, and it does not deserve to be heard in our state capitol,” Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat and one of 10 votes against the bill in the 70-person chamber, said.