Seven victims of convicted serial rapist Daniel Holtzclaw have joined together to file a federal lawsuit against the disgraced cop, the city of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City Police Department Chief Bill Citty, Holtzclaw’s supervisor Oklahoma City Police Department officer Brian Bennett, and Oklahoma City Police Department Detective Rocky Gregory.
According to the suit, police failed to investigate a sexual assault allegation levied against the former officer seven months before the investigation that led to his conviction began. The plaintiffs argue that had police conducted a thorough investigation they would have prevented several of the assaults.
“I just feel really betrayed because this could have been prevented if they would have did their job when this happened to the first lady,” one victim said during a press event announcing the lawsuit.
— Mireya Garcia (@mireya_g) March 7, 2016
Oklahoma City’s Fox 25 gives more details about the lawsuit:
The suit alleges that on Nov. 5, 2013, Holtzclaw illegally detained an African-American female as she was going on a food run for daughter from the University of Oklahoma Medical Center Hospital. Holtzclaw allegedly slammed the woman against a brick wall of TJ’s Seafood Restaurant and rubbed his genitals against the woman’s backside. Holtzclaw then allegedly handcuffed and threw the woman into the backseat of his patrol vehicle.
The lawsuit shows that Holtzclaw then drove through various parts of Oklahoma City before stopping behind a store. The woman, who the lawsuit alleges was fearing she was about to be raped, urinated herself. Holtzclaw then allegedly dropped the woman back off at TJ’s Seafood Restaurant. The woman then went to OU Medical Center for her injuries. A nurse at the hospital then called the Oklahoma City Police Department and asked a supervisor to investigate the incident. Bennett arrived at the hospital and interviewed the woman. The lawsuit alleges that Bennett told the woman he would “look into” the matter and get back with her. The woman was never contacted again by the Oklahoma City Police Department. The lawsuit says that Holtzclaw should have been taken off of street duty and placed on desk duty while the matter was investigated.
During the trial, prosecutors argued Holtzclaw preyed upon vulnerable Black women because he believed they wouldn’t speak up. However, as Jannie Ligons, the woman who came forward and broke the investigation wide open, said, “He picked the wrong lady to stop that night.”