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Judge recused from trial involving former Arapahoe County social worker

Defense files motion to claim judge, prosecutor have conflict of interest in case
Robin Niceta
Niceta and her attorney, Frank Moya
Posted at 2:32 PM, Aug 02, 2023

DENVER — The trial for Robin Niceta, the former Arapahoe County social worker accused of filing a false child abuse claim and submitting false documents to the court, has been postponed. A new judge will replace Hon. David Karpel, who has recused himself from the trial.

On Friday during a fugitive arraignment hearing, Niceta waived her right to a speedy trial, but that's not entirely why it didn't begin as expected on Aug 1.

The latest development in this case comes as her defense filed recent motions, claiming both the judge and DA's prosecutor, Daniel Cohen, have a conflict of interest.

In March, Niceta's former defense filed medical documents in court as part of an attempt to show Niceta had a brain tumor and was incompetent to stand trial and face the alleged false child abuse complaint against former Aurora council woman Danielle Jurinsky. The Councilwoman said she believed the false report was made in retaliation for criticizing former Aurora Police Chief Wilson on a radio show. At the time, Niceta was dating Wilson, and working as a social worker for Arapahoe County.

Once Niceta's medical documents went public, they were heavily scrutinized by the medical community online, calling the scans of her brain and alleged tumor "photoshopped". In a July court hearing, the judge allowed prosecutors to use the false medical documents against Niceta as "evidence of guilt" in the false child abuse claim.

Judge recused from trial involving former Arapahoe County social worker

Also in July, Niceta and her mother, Janice Dudley, were indicted on federal charges for allegedly submitting false medical documents to the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Niceta's defense said because of that, the judge and prosecutors in this case were considered "victims" and argued to have them both removed. Denver7 Investigates has obtained copies of the motions.

"It is alleged that she [Niceta] tried to use falsified medical records to avoid prosecution in the instant case. The victims of that crime are two parties: this Court and the special prosecutor assigned to the matter," the document states.

In August, a judge ruled to deny the defense's motion to remove Cohen from this trial, on the basis that he does not have a personal interest in this case.

”I have heard nothing to suggest the trial is unfair because Mr. Cohen is a named victim in another case,” the judge said.

The trial has been set for November 6th.

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