Seven of the 13 women who accused ex-cop Daniel Holtzclaw of sexual crimes have made steps to continue a civil lawsuit in wake of the onetime Oklahoma City cop’s conviction last week. Holtzclaw was found guilty on 18 of the 36 counts for rape, and more.
The women filed documents Monday asking a judge to allow the suit to move forward.
Repots the AP:
The women, who are seeking class-action status, allege the city was negligent in its hiring and supervision of Holtzclaw and should have known about Holtzclaw’s dangerous conduct. The suit claims Holtzclaw’s actions violated the women’s civil rights and seeks damages of more than $75,000.
A telephone message left with the women’s lead attorney, Mark Hammons, was not immediately returned.
The city opposes a class-action suit and denies it failed to properly supervise or investigate Holtzclaw. Attorneys for the city also note several of the women failed to properly file a tort claim against the city.
Oklahoma City attorney Richard Smith in the city’s litigation unit said police detectives aggressively pursued the case against Holtzclaw as soon as he was identified as the suspect in the assaults.
Most of the victims in Holtzclaw’s case never came forward until police identified him as the assailant and arrested him.
Holtzclaw’s reign of terror targeted Black women in the rough neighborhoods he patrolled. In testimony last November, the women said they were all scared to report Holtzclaw’s attacks out of fear that they wouldn’t be believed. A 57-year-old grandmother attacked by Holtzclaw was the one who finally went to authorities with her story, which led to his arrest and prosecution.
Police were reportedly investigating the now 29-year-old Holtzclaw six week before his final attack.