A former Colorado social worker faked brain cancer in a scheme to dodge prosecution after she made up a story that accused a city councilwoman of molesting her own 2-year-old son, officials said.
Robin Niceta, who worked for the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services, allegedly made the false claim because she was ticked off by City Councilwoman Danielle Jurinsky’s criticisms of her then-girlfriend, the Aurora police chief.
After she was criminally charged, Niceta allegedly forged medical records and even “drooled” on herself during a legal Zoom call to sell the ruse that she was terminally ill, Jurinsky told Fox News Digital.
“[Niceta has been] lying, manipulating and abusing her power for years and years and years,” Jurinsky said. “And she thought she conjured up a way to also get past” her trial, she added.
Niceta gained local and national attention a year ago this month when a warrant for her arrest was issued after she called an anonymous tip line to report Jurinsky. The sheriff’s office later cleared the councilwoman of any wrongdoing.
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Niceta pleaded not guilty in December to a criminal charge of attempting to influence a public servant and a misdemeanor for making a false child abuse report due to brain cancer. Then Niceta’s lawyers filed a motion that said she couldn’t stand trial because of the cancer.
But in another bizarre twist in the case, prosecutors argued that the cancer diagnosis was bunk. Niceta used Google images of glioblastoma to pass off as her own condition, then forged documents that showed she was attending an oncology clinic and seeing a doctor in New Mexico, prosecutors said.
“She was on Zoom drooling on herself. I mean, the works,” Jurinsky said, noting that Niceta’s family had claimed the woman was nonverbal due to her reported cancer.
The former social worker’s lawyers withdrew from the case as the charade came apart at the seams. Niceta’s new attorney told the court his client is now fit to stand trial.
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That news came as a relief to Jurinsky, who said she briefly feared the ruse would allow Niceta to evade justice. Jurinsky “lost it” and confronted members of the media at the courthouse over Niceta’s cancer claims, she said.
“I went out in the hallway. I knew all the media was out there. I couldn’t get the DA to listen to me, I couldn’t get anyone to listen to me,” Jurinsky said. “I went out there in front of the cameras and I said, ‘This woman is lying. This woman is lying.’”
Following Jurinsky’s comments to the media, CBS News Colorado got into contact with Niceta’s mother, who lives in New Mexico, and was given copies of Niceta’s medical records, which ostensibly showed two brain tumors.
“People shouldn’t talk if they don’t know what they’re talking about in the first place,” Niceta’s mother, Janice Dudley, told the outlet. “This is what is going on right now … there’s nothing made up.” The new report noted that Niceta appeared on the Zoom interview and “waved weakly one time” but “did not speak and appeared to be in a stupor.”
The article was published at the end of April and was followed by “hundreds” of doctors across the country who commented on a Reddit thread about the medical documents, arguing they were phony, Jurinsky said.
Prosecutors moved to try to verify the medical documents and found “significant concerns that the medical records provided by Ms. Niceta to defense counsel (and to the People and this Court) are fabricated,” according to court records obtained by Denver 7.
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Prosecutors couldn’t find any record of the doctor who allegedly signed the medical records nor could they even verify the oncology clinic’s existence, address or phone number, the court records said.
And “the MRI images provided by Ms. Niceta are stock images of glioblastoma found with a basic Google image search of the word ‘glioblastoma,” the court document continued.
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After Niceta’s medical records were thrown out of court, Jurinsky said she feels “vindicated” and will continue her battle, which first began in January 2022.
Jurinsky’s ordeal began Jan. 27 of that year, when she went on a radio show to speak out against then-Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson, describing the city’s top cop as “trash” who needed to be ousted.
Jurinsky, an outspoken supporter of the police, said during the interview that Aurora is “not safe,” citing dozens of shootings that month, a staffing shortage of police officers and a police chief who allegedly threw “police officers under the bus.”
At the time, she did not know who Niceta was, let alone that the former social worker was dating the police chief at the time. Niceta and Wilson have since broken up, with Wilson telling Fox News Digital last year that wants nothing to do with the former social worker.
Jurinsky told Fox News Digital last year she believed Niceta allegedly filed the phony report in retaliation for her critical comments of Wilson.
As news broke of Niceta’s arrest in May last year, other families began speaking out that they had allegedly faced similar false allegations from the social worker, which spurred a class-action lawsuit.
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The lawsuit, filed last year, argued that through the defendants’ activities and conduct “dozens, if not hundreds (or more) Arapahoe County families have been torn apart, sometimes permanently, on the basis of constitutionally improper investigations.”
Niceta was accused of making sexual advances toward women she was actively investigating in her role as a social worker and trying to separate children from those women’s families if her advances were spurned, according to the suit.
Jurinsky told Fox News Digital that her personal fight is only a piece of the puzzle, explaining that families across the country have reached out to her about facing similar instances of alleged false reports of abuse.
“[Niceta] is an exceptional lunatic, but this is a systemic issue with the DHS,” Jurinsky said, noting that it’s “not lost” on her as to why she stands to get justice while other families only hit dead ends.
“I’m a public official,” she said. “Had I not been an elected official, had I not had a media to talk to and get my message out, I can promise you within DHS system, there’s no amount of money that will save you from losing your child.”
Jurinsky said she’s in this fight because other families have actually lost their children while the parents are defenseless to get them back.
As a public official, Jurinsky has used her platform to support bills at the state level that would make legislative changes to Colorado’s Department of Human Services. In February, Jurinsky testified in support of House Bill 1142 – which she calls “Bradley’s Bill” in a nod to her son – that would require people making tips on alleged child abuse to provide their contact information, effectively ending anonymous tips.
“I feel hopeful that I will get justice and I will get closure to my situation,” she said. “But it doesn’t end the fight for me. The fight’s not over.”
Niceta’s new lawyer, Frank Moya, did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the case and updates.
Niceta’s trial is set to begin Aug. 1.
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