DistrictCourtRoundup

CHEYENNE – A former Cheyenne counselor convicted of sexually assaulting a patient and defrauding Medicaid received prison time during a hearing Friday morning in Laramie County District Court.

Laramie County District Judge Catherine Rogers sentenced William Dale Robinson to three to five years of incarceration for the sexual assault charge. A 12- to 16-month sentence for a felony charge associated with incorrectly billing Medicaid will run concurrently with this sentence. Robinson had one day of credit for time served.

Robinson pleaded guilty in July to two felony charges as part of a stipulated plea agreement: second-degree sexual assault by a health care provider and obtaining property by false pretenses in an amount greater than $1,000.

Robinson brought with him to the courtroom a cashier’s check for $6,397.36 – the amount he’d falsely claimed from Medicaid – which he’d agreed to pay in restitution to the Wyoming Department of Health’s Division of Healthcare Financing.

While working as a licensed professional counselor and part-owner of Capitol Counseling, 1918 Thomes Ave., Robinson had an ongoing sexual relationship with a patient, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case. In the plea agreement, he said he’d approached the woman during a June 2018 therapy session about beginning the sexual relationship.

Robinson said he and the woman had sexual contact during a regularly scheduled therapy session in July 2018, and that he billed Medicaid and received reimbursement for both the June and July visits.

According to the plea agreement, Robinson admitted he knew Medicaid would not have reimbursed him for the sessions if they knew what had happened during the sessions. He also said he submitted claims for items not covered by Medicaid, including canceled appointments and text conversations between him and his clients.

Before the sentencing, Judge Rogers acknowledged that many of Robinson’s family and friends had written impassioned letters in his defense. However, she said some of them lacked the full context of the case: that Robinson had agreed to the plea because there were additional victims and additional chargeable offenses, showing evidence of a pattern of behavior.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Travis J. Kirchhefer, who acted as a special prosecutor in the case and is the director of the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, also said during the hearing that there had been additional victims besides the woman named in the probable cause affidavit.

Prior to the plea agreement, the state intended to charge Robinson with three felony counts of second-degree sexual assault, two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses and five misdemeanor counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, according to the plea agreement.

Devon Petersen, Robinson’s attorney, said that while Robinson could have put himself and his family through a trial that may have netted him a better outcome, he went “above and beyond” in accepting responsibility for his actions.

“He’s a good person who made some very, very terrible decisions,” Petersen said during the hearing.

Robinson’s wife, Erin, spoke on his behalf, becoming emotional as she described her husband as a calm, gentle man who was remorseful for the pain he’d caused. She described the past three years dealing with these charges as the worst of their lives.

Robinson himself said he’d failed the victim in the case and that he was sorry for what he’d done.

“I wish I could take it back, and I would if I could,” he said. “I’m fully responsible for my actions with my client.”

No victims spoke during the hearing.

Just before Robinson’s sentencing, Rogers said she’d gone back and forth about whether to follow the plea agreement, at one point wondering if it was too harsh. In the end, though, she said it was important to take into account that what Robinson was charged with was “a fraction” of what he could have received.

Rogers said that, as a licensed therapist, Robinson was “placed in a position of great power and tremendous trust” by the owners of Capitol Counseling and the state of Wyoming, and that he abused that power and betrayed that trust.

“You are a person who took this position of power and trust ... and preyed on an individual who was vulnerable,” Rogers said.

While the judge condemned Robinson’s actions, she said she hoped his strong support system, education, military background and additional privileged circumstances could help him and his family rebuild after he served his time, despite the felony conviction and his likely permanent status as a sex offender.

The charges

In September 2018, a complaint from the Wyoming Mental Health Professionals Licensing Board was referred to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, part of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office. The complaint alleged Robinson tried to bill Wyoming Medicaid for times when he had sex with a patient, according to the probable cause affidavit, and that he told the woman to get Medicaid because “we can only use my office if it looks legit,” he was quoted as saying.

A billing manager at Capitol Counseling sent a request to Medicaid in May 2018, saying the woman was “chronically ill” and that it could not be stressed enough that she needed “URGENT continued care,” the affidavit says.

A review by an investigative auditor with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit found 59 additional claims submitted by Robinson for text sessions and canceled sessions, which were not billable for Medicaid, according to court documents.

During an interview in October 2018, Robinson’s patient told a Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation special agent working with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit that she and Robinson had a sexual relationship in June and July 2018, and had sexual contact during her counseling sessions at his office. The woman said she told Robinson at the end of July that she wanted to end the relationship, but continue seeing him as a counselor, and that Robinson tried to convince her to continue the sexual contact.

The woman said she did not see Robinson for therapy in August 2018 or any time after that. The woman also provided investigators text messages and emails from Robinson about “therapy sessions, having sex during therapy sessions and meeting outside of the office for sex,” according to the affidavit.

Shortly after a search warrant was carried out at Robinson’s business and person on or about Oct. 30, 2018, Robinson’s attorney contacted prosecutors about his client’s interest in a potential plea agreement, according to court documents.

The investigation began in October 2018 and concluded in January 2021, and charges were filed in district court in June 2021.

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Kayleena Ann Cordova was sentenced by Judge Rogers to three years of supervised probation. She pleaded guilty in June to felony property destruction.

In exchange for her guilty plea, Rogers agreed to give Cordova first-offender status, deferring her conviction. If she successfully completes probation, the case against her would be dismissed.

Additional charges of felony aggravated assault and battery (bodily injury with a deadly weapon) and misdemeanor failure to maintain insurance, duty to give information and render aid were dismissed at sentencing, per a plea agreement.

At 2:52 p.m. Nov. 6, 2020, a Cheyenne Police officer responded to a report of road rage at the intersection of North College Drive and East 12th Street. A man said he and a juvenile passenger had been chased southbound on North Greeley Highway and rear-ended by a green Ford Expedition, according to court documents.

The Ford continued to follow the man’s vehicle and rear-ended it four more times, in one instance pushing his vehicle into an intersection. There was more than $1,000 in damage to the victim’s vehicle and to the suspect’s vehicle.

Cordova was later identified as the driver. She admitted to hitting the victim’s car three times over an estimated two miles, at one point rear-ending the vehicle at about 50 mph, according to court documents. The vehicle was located, and no insurance was found inside. Cordova did not know if there was insurance.

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Gina Marie Carabajal was sentenced by Judge Rogers to two years of supervised probation, with a suspended sentence of 18 to 36 months in prison.

Carabajal pleaded guilty in June to perjury, a felony. Additional charges of felony theft, felony forgery and misdemeanor receiving stolen property were dismissed at sentencing, per a plea agreement.

On July 26, 2019, Carabajal told a Laramie County Circuit Court judge during an eviction hearing that Black Hills Energy had uninstalled and removed a gas stove, discarding it in a dumpster, according to court documents. An investigation by the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office found that she’d actually sold the stove on Facebook.

Carabajal must also pay restitution to her landlord for the value of the stove.

Hannah Black is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at hblack@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter at @hannahcblack.

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