Convicted Ex-Cop's Rape Victims File Lawsuit Alleging Oklahoma City Officials Ignored Earlier Complaint
03/08/2016 AT 08:30 PM EST
The women claim a top brass within the Oklahoma City Police Department shrugged off a sexual assault complaint filed against the officer in 2013, thereby allowing the patrolling predator to remain on the streets where he continued raping women while on the job.
The March 4 federal lawsuit alleges Holtzclaw – who was convicted in December of 18 criminal counts, resulting in a 263-year prison term – attacked an African American woman during the fall of 2013.
That victim claims she filed a complaint with police some seven months before the department fielded a similar grievance, directly sparking an investigation into the fallen lawman's crimes.
An investigator allegedly informed that first victim police would "look into" her claims, but never actually followed up, according the suit.
PEOPLE obtained a copy of the filing, which contends numerous city officials exhibited "deliberate indifference to the threat that Holtzclaw posed."
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Detectives claim Holtzclaw victimized at least 14 black women, all of whom had prior criminal records. Officials allege Holtzclaw targeted these woman, believing they'd be too afraid to come forward about the assaults.
According to the suit, the erstwhile officer attacked a woman as she tried to get food for her hospitalized, terminally ill daughter. The lawsuit alleges Holtzclaw grabbed the woman outside a restaurant, forced her up against a brick wall, and rubbed his crotch on her buttocks.
The suit maintains Holtzclaw handcuffed the woman and placed her in his patrol car. As he drove around the city, the sobbing woman "urinated on herself in a desperate attempt to dissuade Holtzclaw from raping her."
Holtzclaw eventually took her back to the restaurant and let her go without filing charges, according to suit. The victim sought medical treatment following the incident, prompting nurses to contact police.
The suit alleges a police officer named Brian Bennett took the woman's statement, but that she never heard from him again. The civil suit further alleges Holtzclaw wasn't switched to desk duty and that officials left him on the streets, where he committed more assaults.
The lawsuit seeks at least $750,000 in damages for each of the victims listed as plaintiffs to the action.
Oklahoma City officials failed to respond to requests Tuesday seeking comment.
Captain Paco Balderrama, an Oklahoma City Police spokesman, tells PEOPLE the initial 2013 against Holtzclaw "complained of the force used." Balderrama says the victim "made no allegations whatsoever relating to a sexual assault by Holtzclaw," noting a use-of-force investigation cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.