- Associated Press - Thursday, June 29, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma judge has conducted a closed hearing for a former Oklahoma City police officer serving a 263-year prison sentence for rape and other sex crimes.

Daniel Holtzclaw, 30, was convicted of sexually assaulting women while on patrol between December 2013 and June 2014.

Jurors convicted Holtzclaw on 18 counts, including four first-degree rape counts as well as forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, procuring lewd exhibition and second-degree rape. Prosecutors said since the sentences will be served one after another, Henderson essentially imposed a life sentence.

Jurors acquitted Holtzclaw on 18 other counts. Holtzclaw has maintained his innocence, and he appealed his convictions earlier this year.

Last month, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals sent the case back to district court for an evidentiary hearing related to the appeal, according to online Oklahoma County District Court records. The trial judge, District Judge Timothy Henderson, convened the closed hearing on Monday and Tuesday, records indicate. But appellate documents are sealed and the subject of the hearing has not been disclosed.

Among other things, attorneys allege the evidence at Holtclaw’s 2015 trial was insufficient to convict him of the charges and that he didn’t receive a fair trial because of a “circus atmosphere” during the highly publicized case.

Holtzclaw also claims that his attorneys were ineffective during his trial.

The Associated Press highlighted Holtzclaw’s case in a yearlong investigation into sexual misconduct by law enforcement, which found that about 1,000 officers in the U.S. lost their licenses for sex assault or other sexual misconduct over a six-year period.

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