Last week, we reported that Daniel Holtzclaw had been sentenced to 263 years concurrent years in prison for the serial rape of 13 black, predominantly poor women.
While we absolutely applaud the justice that was served, we also recognize at the same time the profound level of irreversible damage done to these women’s lives, and how their stories/experiences add to deep-seeded feelings of mistrust that minority communities have with regards to law enforcement.
A teenager raped by an Oklahoma City cop on the front porch of her mother’s home says she doesn’t know how to react when she sees law officers now, even though the man who attacked her is going to prison for the rest of his life.
“Every time I see the police, I don’t even know what to do,” the teenager, now 18, told Oklahoma County District Judge Timothy Henderson at Holtzclaw’s sentencing hearing. “I don’t ever go outside, and when I do I’m terrified.”
Another victim – a grandmother in her 50s whose 2014 complaint triggered a police investigation – said her life has been changed forever.
“The stress of the case and fear of being sexually assaulted again has caused an increase in my blood pressure,” Jannie Ligons said. “I so desperately want my life back.”
The Associated Press does not identify victims of sex crimes without their consent and is not naming the teenager, but Ligons spoke publicly about the case and agreed to be identified.