BY FREDA MIKLIN
On May 16, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office made public an arrest warrant against Robin Niceta, partner of Vanessa Wilson, recently ousted Aurora Chief of Police, for calling in a false report of child sexual abuse against Aurora City Council Member Danielle Jurinsky. The accusation involved Jurinsky’s two-year-old son. The false tip to the Arapahoe County child abuse and neglect hotline came in on January 28, the day after Jurinsky had disparaged the performance of Wilson in a radio interview, calling her “trash.”
Although the tip was made anonymously, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s investigation determined that it came from a cell phone registered to Niceta. The investigation also disclosed that Niceta communicated with someone in the Department of Human Services, where the complaint was lodged and where Niceta worked at the time, about the allegation two hours after it was made. Since the accusation came in at 5:00 p.m., it was determined that Niceta could not have known about it that soon through her regular job duties at the department.
Jurinsky, in interviews with local media, talked about the anguish she suffered for two weeks while these “heinous charges” were being investigated, saying she “couldn’t sleep” and “couldn’t look at my son without crying.” Jurinsky has called for all child abuse cases handled by Niceta in the past to be investigated because she believes Niceta could have unfairly accused other parents of abuse, as she did Jurinsky. Jurinsky said that she had never met Niceta. The investigation into who made the false claim began after Jurinsky was cleared of all accusations.
Former Chief Wilson was fired by Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly on April 6. Robin Niceta resigned from her position in the department of human services via an email on May 4.
Luc Hatlestad, public information officer for Arapahoe County, said in a statement that Arapahoe County takes allegations about vulnerable adults and children “with the highest levels of professionalism and compassion,” but it also “takes allegations of all g seriously– especially when they involve employees.” No disciplinary action was taken against Niceta because she resigned voluntarily.
Arapahoe County Deputy John Bartmann, public information officer for the Sheriff’s office, stated that there was no probable cause found with regard to the accusations against Jurinsky and further investigation found probable cause to charge Robin Niceta with Retaliation Against an Elected Official, a class six felony, along with a misdemeanor violation of the law covering Persons Required to Report Child Abuse or Neglect. As of May 16, there was an active warrant for Niceta, but she had not yet been arrested. According to reports, bond in the case was set at $4,000 personal recognizance.