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Former Social Worker Accused Of Retaliating Against Women Who Rejected Her Sexual Advances, Including Threats To Take Away Kids
Robin Niceta, a former Colorado social worker, allegedly made false child abuse allegations against women who rejected her sexual advances, according to a lawsuit.
A former Colorado child protection case workers already charged with making a false child abuse allegation against an Aurora City Council woman is being sued for retaliating against women who spurned her sexual advances by allegedly making false child abuse allegations.
“So far, several parents have come forward to let us know that they also had their children taken away from them as a result of Robin Niceta’s actions related to their cases whether by what they believe to be false testimony during court or what they believe to be false reports,” Elliot Singer, the lawyer preparing the class-action lawsuit told the Gazette.
“We’re very concerned about the pattern that is forming regarding Robin Niceta while she was a case worker at the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services, and we’re asking all parents who were affected to come forward,” Singer said.
The civil complaint was filed last week by Aurora Councilwoman Danielle Jurinsky. Singer is seeking class-action status.
The councilwoman also filed an individual lawsuit accusing Niceta of libel and slander, according to the Denver Post.
Jurinksy maintains that she was targeted by Niceta after she appeared on a radio show and called Niceta’s then romantic partner, former Aurora police chief Vanessa Wilson, “trash” and criticized her job performance. Wilson was fired in April.
“What happened to me is not an isolated incident at all and I will go as far as to say that I believe at this point there’s an equitable evil that is plaguing Arapahoe County DHS,” Jurinsky said, according to the Denver Post.
“There’s no proof no pictures of abused children. They are allowed to make up statements. One of the women standing behind me has a family member here that was absolutely lied about, that Robin Niceta took the stand and her own mother said things about her that were never said. This is unchecked power,” Jurinsky said during a news conference about the lawsuit, according to FOX31 Denver.
Facing multiple allegations of misconduct, Niceta, 40, resigned from her position with the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services in May. The county is also named in the lawsuit. An warrant was issued for Niceta’s arrest that same month.
The lawsuit alleges that “dozens, if not hundreds (or more) of Arapahoe County families have been torn apart, sometimes permanently, on the basis of constitutionally improper investigations, false sworn testimony by Arapahoe County employees, fabricated evidence introduced by Arapahoe County employees in both investigatory and judicial proceedings, and a downright inexplicable, unfounded, and unjust desire to separate or attempt to separate children from their parents or caretakers.”
The lawsuit accuses Niceta of “seeking to engage in sexual relations with parents and caretakers she was actively investigating, including by offering alcoholic beverages at her personal home and giving away her personal cell phone number, and then actively seeking to separate children from these parents and caretakers when they refused Defendant Niceta’s sexual advances. “
Niceta is also accused of “intentionally and knowingly introducing false evidence, including fabricating investigative reports, conclusions, and altered statement of parents, caretakers, and other witnesses into investigatory and judicial proceedings regarding the separation or the attempt to separate children from their caretakers.”
Niceta is named in another lawsuit filed earlier this month by the family of a 14-year-old deaf Muslim girl. She was removed from her home “based only on cultural assumptions and bias,” the lawsuit alleges.
She was reportedly removed after her American Sign Language interpreter made a report to human services alleging that she was being sexually abused by her 21-year-old cousin. The interpreter said that the family planned to send her back to Africa to be stoned, the Denver Post reported.
“At the time of the removal, Niceta either falsely reported that she obtained verbal authorization from the court to remove the child or illegally obtained verbal authorization from the court, by stating that the child needed to be separated from her family due to Niceta’s own perceptions of their behavior,” the lawsuit said, according to the Denver Post. “Niceta failed to document, pursuant to state regulations, this risk analysis.”
The Colorado Department of Human Services is investigating Niceta’s conduct and cases during her tenure as a case worker.
Luc Hatlestad, a spokesperson for the department said in a statement that the county was “appalled and concerned” about the allegations made against Niceta, the Denver Post reported.
“We are not aware of any evidence of widespread misconduct by the caseworkers and other professionals within the Arapahoe County Human Services Department, despite what is alleged in the complaints,” Hatlestad said.
The FBI is also investigating Niceta for allegedly faking an attack by a former girlfriend, according to the Gazette newspaper.
She allegedly used the child protective system to undermine her former partner to gain the upper hand in a child custody dispute.
The FBI has reportedly interviewed multiple witnesses and gathered evidence, the Gazette reported, citing five people familiar with the investigation.
Niceta told Aurora police that her former girlfriend, Kristin Nichols, broke into her home on August 27 of last year and attacked her, the Gazette reported.
Her then girlfriend, Wilson, still police chief at that time, appears to have interceded on her behalf speaking and meeting with the officers after driving Niceta home from the hospital, the Gazette reported.
She reportedly told officers that Nichols was dangerous and said she was aware of other incidents.
Niceta said Nichols attacked her while she was sleeping. Once she woke up, she reportedly told police that Nichols hit her over the head, knocking her out, strangled her and ripped a necklace, a gift from Wilson, from her neck.
Nichols was arrested for assault with bodily injury, burglary and domestic violence. The charges were dismissed in June.
Prior to the charges being dropped Nichols lost her job as a full-time nurse. A county district court judge also reduced Nichols’s time with her 6-year-old daughter, finding that the child was safer with Niceta, who helped raise her, the Gazette reported.
She could only visit her daughter for two hours a week and a therapist had to be present. In July, Niceta ended the custody dispute, returning the child to Nichols because she was moving to New Mexico, the Gazette reported.
“It’s indescribable when someone goes after your kid,” Nichols told the Gazette. “My main job as a mom is to protect my daughter, and then something like this happens, and she is taken from me, and I can’t protect her. I knew damage was being done, but there was nothing I could do about it, all because Robin had all the power.”