Rape prosecution story: Denver DA, 7News trade inaccuracy charges
The rape-kit report may not have fit Morrissey's definition of fairness, but it certainly got the attention of lawmakers such as Republican Frank McNulty, who eventually sponsored House Bill 1020. According to the Colorado GOP website, the measure "requires the Department of Public Safety to adopt standards for when evidence collected after a sexual assault is submitted and when it must be analyzed and compared to DNA databases."
Here's a 7News piece about the bill after it unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee:
The measure's legislative winning streak continued from there, with the bill ultimately winning approval from both chambers of the Colorado legislature. It went to the desk of Governor John Hickenlooper on May 8, the last day of the 2013 session, and he's expected to sign it.
Morrissey's comments about the rape-kit report are general, not specific, in his exchange with Rabon. But when it came to their subsequent meeting about the sex-assault prosecution story, he amended the off-camera requirement -- by having a staff member set up one on his behalf while prohibiting 7News from using its own. The station managed to work around this restriction, though. Afterward, when Morrissey again refused to do an on-camera interview with Rabon, the station obtained the DA's office footage via an open-records request and shared it as well. See the two-part exchange below.
Why was it so important for Rabon to speak with Morrissey on-camera?
"We're a video-driven medium," notes news director Harris. "Our interviews are on-camera. We'd had numerous conversations on the record and on background with folks from the office -- just not him. But because he's the decision-maker, and an elected official, we felt it was our duty to get a response from him.
"In the end, he chose never to sit down with our cameras," Harris continues. "But we found through open records a decent-enough medium to provide that perspective for our viewers."
As for Rabon, Harris stands behind her "100 percent. She's done excellent reporting on meaningful subject matter."
What about the DA's criticism of her work? In Harris's words, "Mitch Morrissey has never been interviewed by Keli Rabon and has no idea how she edits -- because he's never been a part of her stories."
Odds are good he won't be making an appearance anytime soon, either.
Continue for four videos related to Mitch Morrissey and sexual assault prosecution.