Huffpost Denver

Judge Suppresses LoDo Beatings Report

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A Denver judge has ruled that a grand jury report on police handling of a series of racially motivated muggings in Lower Downtown should be kept sealed.

CBS4 in Denver reported on Wednesday afternoon that Denver District Court Judge, Sheila Rappaport had overruled a Grand Jury that had been investigating a series of racially-motivated LoDo muggings.

A grand jury, led by a Jefferson County special prosecutor [Scott Storey], began probing the "wildings and racially motivated muggings" in September of 2010.

They began examining the conduct of the lead Denver Police Detective, Paul Baca, after evidence surfaced suggesting Baca exaggerated injuries in one of the attacks and fabricated evidence in another.

The grand jury could have asked that Baca be criminally charged. Instead, in completing their investigation, they issued a written report on the LoDo assaults that took place in the summer and fall of 2009.

The Grand Jury recommended that their report be made public, but Rappaport ruled that the report should be kept sealed.

Storey says he plans to appeal Rappaport's ruling, which experts told CBS4 was a highly unusual one.

In June, a judge ruled that Detective Baca omitted pertinent witness testimony from a police report on one of about two dozen racially-motivated robberies and beatings that occurred Downtown in 2009.

Charges against one defendant were dropped in March after it was found that Baca pressured the victim to exaggerate the extent of his injuries in order to increase the severity of the charges against the assailants.