UPDATE | Tuesday, 9:18 a.m. — The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office confirmed Tuesday morning that Robin Niceta, who is accused of retaliating against an elected official and making a false report, turned herself into another law enforcement agency on Monday. Court records show a judge set a $4,000 personal recognizance bond in the case on Monday. The sheriff's office said she posted bond.
AURORA, Colo. — An Aurora City Council member is accusing the partner of former Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson of making a false accusation against her concerning her toddler after the councilwoman made critical remarks about Wilson's performance. Robin Niceta, Wilson's partner, now has a warrant out for her arrest.
Aurora City Council member Danielle Jurinsky claimed that Niceta falsely accused Jurinsky of unlawful sexual contact with her own child. The accusations against Jurinsky were unfounded, according to Niceta’s arrest affidavit.
Niceta is facing charges of retaliation against an elected official and making a false report.
Niceta, 40, resigned from her position as a social worker and case manager with Arapahoe County on May 4 with a brief letter that read: "Please take this email as my immediate resignation from Arapahoe County. I appreciate the last 5 years and I wish you both the very best."
Niceta was not in custody as of 1:40 p.m. Monday, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.
According to the affidavit, Jurinsky said she was a guest on the Steffen Tubbs radio show on Jan. 27, and when the subject of Aurora's high crime rate came up, Jurinsky said Chief Wilson “is trash.”
The following day, Jurinsky received a phone call from the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services (DHS) concerning an anonymous accusation that alleged inappropriate contact with her own child. Jurinsky told investigators that she felt the accusation made against her was in retaliation to the comment she made about Wilson on the radio program and was “mortified, upset and hurt,” according to the affidavit.
A criminal complaint with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office was filed on April 19 regarding the DHS complaint against Jurinsky, according to the affidavit.
The report indicated that on Jan. 28, 2022, shortly after 5 p.m., an anonymous person reported that they were an employee at one of Jurinsky’s restaurants — she owns four around the Denver metro area — and heard Jurinsky ask, “Do you want to see something funny?” and then allegedly made inappropriate sexual contact with the child. The reporting party said the child started crying, according to the arrest affidavit.
The anonymous person reported that a few weeks ago, they saw Jurinsky with her child again. The reporting party claimed that Jurinsky pushed the child’s diaper down to show off his genitals to other staff, the arrest affidavit said.
The Department of Human Services visited Jurinsky’s home, daycare, and more and the case was closed on Feb. 14, with no wrongdoing on Jurinksky’s part, according to the affidavit.
Investigators were able to trace the anonymous party's phone call to a specific number, which was on record as a personal phone number for Niceta, according to the affidavit.
Investigators pulled Niceta’s T-Mobile record and discovered she allegedly dialed *67 before calling the hotline in an attempt to block the number, the affidavit said.
In an email from Deputy County Attorney Michael Valentine with the Arapahoe County Attorney's Office to Chief Deputy DA Chris Gallo, Valentine said Jurinsky had been “outspoken and critical” of Wilson, who was the Aurora chief of police at the time. The email also stated Niceta had allegedly made the false report in retaliation to Jurinsky’s comments.
When Arapahoe County investigators spoke to Niceta’s supervisor about the anonymous tip left on their hotline, she initially didn’t think it was Niceta. However, after listening to it several more times, the supervisor said she noticed similarities and believed Niceta made her voice higher-pitched during the call, according to the affidavit.
Investigators talked with Niceta on May 3. In the interview, authorities said they had determined that the tip about the unlawful sexual contact had come from her cell phone number, but Niceta said, “OK, I don’t know anything about that,” according to the affidavit. She said she had been in possession of her phone the whole day, but had not made that call.
She stated that several people had access to her phone, including her two children and Wilson, but then stated that her children would not have made the call, meaning only her or Wilson could have made the call, the affidavit reads.
Investigators told Niceta that because the phone was used in a suspected crime, it would be seized as evidence pending a search warrant. This warrant was approved on May 6. Three days later, authorities received the cell phone and Niceta’s laptop, according to the affidavit.
A forensic extraction of the cell phone and laptop found multiple inconsistencies with what Niceta told investigators in the previous interview. She told the investigator she didn’t know anything about the complaint against Jurinsky, however, less than three hours after the tip came in, Niceta had sent a text referring to the complaint.
When the investigator asked Niceta’s supervisor whether Niceta would know about the tip so soon after it was made, the supervisor said there was “0% chances that Robin would have known of this referral within 2 ½ hours DHS receiving it.”
According to the affidavit, a search of Niceta’s county-provided laptop showed multiple Bing searches for “child abuse and neglect reporting hotline” and “does the child abuse hotline keep phone numbers in Colorado” just minutes before the tip came in to the hotline.
“I hope to see justice served in this case,” Jurinsky told Denver7 over the phone Monday. “It’s disgusting. I just cry. You can’t just weaponize the system and just make false allegations against someone and their child and get away with it.”
During a press conference with Jurinksy and her attorneys Suzanne Taheri and Rishi Kapoor on Monday afternoon, Taheri called the allegations "patently absurd." She said for 14 days during the investigation, Jurinksy had to wonder if her son would be taken away from her.
Taheri said she and Kapoor will file a notice of claim against Arapahoe County Social Services and will name Niceta.
Jurinsky said she hopes to see justice served.
“All I can say is this is a parent’s worst nightmare to get a call like I got and to be under an investigation like I was, knowing that it was a complete lie and knowing that it was retaliation for my opinions," she said.
Jurinsky wondered out loud about how many children in the county are truly in harm's way while resources went into investigating the false claims against her.
"I can take the criticism, and I can take the name-calling. And, you know, my businesses have been attacked. The last six months have been absolutely brutal," Jurinsky told Denver7 in an exclusive interview. "But you go after someone's child and that's a that's a different arena."
She said she has never met or spoken with Niceta. She plans to attend every court appearance and "see this all the way through," she said.
Jurinsky said she believes there is more to this story, but did not know if Wilson, who was still police chief at the time, knew about these allegations. If she did and didn't report it, Jurinksy said she wants her prosecuted. Wilson's attorney, Paula Greisen, later said that Wilson had no involvement in the events described in the affidavit.
“Every other attack that has come my way, I can handle on my feet and I can fire back and I can fight back," Jurinksy said. "You involve my child and it brings me to my knees. And it becomes a different kind of fight."
In response to the investigation into Niceta, Arapahoe County said its Department of Human Services received about 24,000 calls to its child and adult protection hotline in 2021 and takes every allegation seriously.
"Arapahoe County also takes allegations of false reporting seriously – especially when they involve employees," the statement reads. "We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior, which undermines the critical work of our team. Upon receiving an allegation of false reporting by an employee, we immediately engaged law enforcement and conducted an internal investigation. It would be inappropriate to provide any further comment on this personnel matter."
This is a developing story and will be updated.