Holtzclaw appealed his 18 convictions and 263-year prison sentence, which the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied Thursday morning. The ex-officer was accused of preying on and harassing African-American women he encountered while on duty.
In 2015, an all-white jury convicted Holtzclaw on 18 of 36 criminal counts, including first-degree rape and forced oral sodomy. The former cop sexually assaulted more than a dozen women, his victims ranging from a 17-year-old girl raped on her front porch to a 57-year-old grandmother of 12.
“Ever since this happened my life has been upside down,” one of the victims said before Holtzclaw’s sentencing in 2016. “I feel like I’m dying on the inside.”
Holtzclaw has maintained his innocence throughout the case. In his appeal, he challenged the evidence used to convict him, and pointed to a so-called “circus atmosphere” during his 2015 trial, according to The Associated Press.
KOKH also reported that questions regarding DNA evidence were kept under wraps by the court for 17 months due to personnel records that are confidential under state law.