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Ex-police chief’s partner accused of false sex abuse report

May 17, 2022 GMT

DENVER (AP) — The partner of a former embattled suburban Denver police chief is accused of falsely reporting that a vocal opponent of the chief was sexually abusing her son, authorities alleged in court documents filed Monday.

Robin Niceta, a county social worker at the time, allegedly made an anonymous call to a child abuse hotline on Jan. 28 alleging that she saw Aurora City Councilmember Danielle Jurinsky inappropriately touching Jurinsky’s son, an affidavit for an arrest warrant for Niceta said. The call came a day after Jurinsky called for the city’s police chief, Vanessa Wilson, to resign on a talk radio show, calling Wilson “trash.”

An investigation cleared Jurinsky of any wrongdoing and she told investigators she thought the tip was retaliation for her comments about Wilson.

According to an affidavit seeking Niceta’s arrest, the call came from Niceta’s personal cellphone on file with the county and a search of her laptop showed a search for the hotline number and Jurinsky’s address just before the call was made.

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Niceta denied making the call. She said Wilson and her two children also had access to her phone, though she said her children would not have called. When pressed about who could have called, Niceta said “it wasn’t me,” the affidavit said.

Niceta resigned from Arapahoe County’s human services department without stating a reason on May 4, a day after being questioned by investigators and about a month after Wilson was fired, according to an email released by the county Monday.

Niceta is also accused of retaliation against an elected official in connection with the incident. Niceta could not be reached by telephone and it wasn’t immediately clear if she has been arrested.

Aurora, where Elijah McClain died after being confronted by police and injected with ketamine in 2019, ousted Wilson as police chief on April 6, faulting her management style but without providing details. At the time Wilson’s lawyers said she was the victim of a campaign to damage her reputation by conservative city council members, including Jurinsky, who opposed reforms she was trying to enact.

Jurinsky told Denver’s KCNC-TV, which first reported on the allegations against Niceta, that the claim made against her was “disgusting.”

“I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” she told the station.

One of Wilson’s lawyers, Paula Greisen, said Wilson had no involvement in any of the actions described in the affidavit.

“She is confident that the justice system will deal with those issues as required by law,” she said.