Former Cop Who Appears To Have Been Wrongly Convicted Of Rape Files Appeal With Supreme Court
2009: Daniel Holtzclaw of the Detroit Lions poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Detroit, Michigan.
NFL Photos via Getty Images

It’s one of those stories we’re told must be true since so many women wouldn’t lie about something like this.

A whopping thirteen women accused former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw of rape or sexual assault. Holtzclaw was sentenced to 263 years in prison back in 2016. He has appealed his conviction and failed but is now petitioning the Supreme Court to take up his case, citing faulty DNA evidence.

Holtzclaw’s brief, obtained by The Daily Wire, states that the faulty DNA evidence led to his conviction, which must be overturned.

“DNA evidence played a central role in this sexual assault case, in the form of a “match” between DNA from a complaining witness and the major contributor in DNA mixtures found on the fly of Petitioner’s pants,” the brief says. “This evidence was conveyed to the jury by state forensic analyst Elaine Taylor. However, concerns over Taylor’s personnel record arose while direct appeal was pending, and the state appellate court remanded to the district court which held a remarkable two-day hearing in camera and ex parte on the matter. Although defense counsel were excluded from this hearing, the transcript and exhibits were made available to defense counsel, but not to the defense expert DNA witness. The prosecutor at trial misrepresented the DNA evidence during closing arguments.”

Taylor’s involvement is even more problematic, as she is the mother-in-law of the lead detective in the case Rocky Gregory. She also admitted in a deposition by attorney Kathleen Zellner’s office that she had witnessed boxes of evidence from sex crimes getting burned and shoved “in a big old hole” by the Oklahoma City river. Taylor also worked with Joyce Gilchrist, whose falsified forensic evidence led to multiple wrongful convictions and multimillion dollar settlements and exonerations. In at least one case, Gilchrist claimed carpet fibers were actually pubic hair to get someone convicted.

Holtzclaw was initially accused of alleged forcible oral sodomy and the procurement of lewd exhibition by one woman. That accusation quickly grew to thirteen different women making 36 counts of wildly different allegations – including first-degree burglary, stalking, and rape. Holtzclaw wrote in his brief that the court was prejudiced by the number of accusers, who he alleged created a “self-corroborating cascade of testimony which reinforced its own credibility through volume.”

The first woman made her accusation against Holtzclaw in 2014, claiming he assaulted her during a traffic stop. Holtzclaw had pulled over the first woman, identified in the brief as J.L. because she was swerving. Holtzclaw determined she was not intoxicated and let her go. Hours later, J.L. and members of her family reported to law enforcement that Holtzclaw sexually assaulted her during this traffic stop. After J.L. made her allegation, a detective working a similar case against an unknown police officer started to zero in on Holtzclaw as a suspect in that case as well.

Holtzclaw was found guilty of what J.L. claimed, even though a sexual assault kit came back negative and she claimed her assailant was a short man with blond hair. Holtzclaw is 6’1: and has black hair. Another of the women claimed the man who assaulted her was a short black police officer. Holtzclaw is Japanese-American with light skin. This same accuser claimed the rape took five to 10 minutes, yet GPS data from Holtzclaw’s patrol car showed the vehicle was only motionless for less than three minutes, according to an explanation of the case on Uncuff The Innocent.

Most of the women who came forward after were criminals themselves who received plea deals in exchange for their testimony. Discrepancies were plentiful in the women’s allegations, such as one teenager who had a history of physical violence (including on the day she alleged Holtzclaw sexually assaulted her). The teen’s mother also told a detective her daughter called Holtzclaw a “hot cop” the night of the alleged assault. Months later, the teen would claim Holtzclaw raped her. The mother made numerous denials during her testimony and was presented with audio and written evidence of what she had claimed previously.

Another of Holtzclaw’s accusers showed up “obviously intoxicated” to testify but denied taking anything other than her prescription medication. She was drug tested and found to have PCP in her system, but was still allowed to testify. Another accuser had a history of lying to police and was determined to have been high on crack the night she was stopped by Holtzclaw. Again, DNA evidence of her claims came back negative.

Despite all these issues – and more – Holtzclaw was found guilty. He appealed his case to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals but was rejected.

The DNA of one of the alleged victims was found on the fly of Holtzclaw’s work pants, but as The Daily Wire has written previously, this is not conclusive evidence of sexual assault, as touch DNA can be transferred in numerous ways. Holtzclaw could easily have picked up the woman’s DNA from her driver’s license during the traffic stop and later adjusted his pants getting out of the patrol car or zipping up his fly after using the restroom.

The saving grace for Holtzclaw has been his sister, Jenny, who told The Daily Wire that Daniel’s case isn’t just important for the former Oklahoma cop, but to wrongfully accused victims everywhere.

“All of this matters to Oklahoma and the entire country because scientifically invalid testimony by government experts at corrupted crime labs is being used by prosecutors to mislead juries and put innocent people in prison. The Supreme Court is considering a cert petition in Death Row inmate Rodney Reed’s case that raises similar issues,” she said in an email. “Even worse, such flawed DNA evidence was used in Daniel’s case to bolster multiple false accusations all together as part of a nightmare pile-on. That bandwagon tactic will be exploited more and more if informed judges don’t put a stop to it.”

News9 reported that Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater told the outlet that Daniel’s defense team continues “to make arguments rejected by other appellate courts, we expect the same decision from the Supreme Court.”

The deadline for the Supreme Court to respond is February 5.