Rape prosecution story: Denver DA, 7News trade inaccuracy charges
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Why air such criticism? Jeff Harris, news director for 7News, explains.
"It's not something we normally do," admits Harris about the decision to offer the complete encounter between Rabon and Morrissey outside his office, which the DA deems an ambush. "But given the content of his responses, we felt it was appropriate to do so. And we also think that because he's an elected official, it was important for his constituency to see how he responded to what we believe, and others are telling us, is a very important issue."
In the video, Rabon and her camera operator race up to Morrissey and ask him questions about her story, which asserts that the Denver DA's office "declines to prosecute 36 percent of all felonies and 71 percent of all felony sex assaults that Denver police bring to prosecutors" -- rates much higher than those registered by many prosecutors locally and across the country.
Rather than respond to Rabon's queries, Morrissey says repeatedly, in a tone of exaggerated calm, that he would be happy to discuss the matter off camera -- and when we say "repeatedly," we really mean it.
Back in 2012, Representative Mike Coffman became a national laughingstock when he responded to 9News correspondent Kyle Clark's questions about birther comments directed at President Barack Obama by saying "I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize" five times in a row. But Morrissey utters variations on the happy-to-talk-off-camera line much more frequently -- the count may actually reach into the dozens.
Amid these repetitions, however, he tells Rabon the reason he won't speak to her on-camera despite requests that she says go back five months is because he thinks she edits stories in a way that's unfair.
Morrissey specifically cites a November report about local police departments failing to test thousands of rape kits. Here's that story:
Continue for more about 7News and Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, including multiple videos.