William Dale Robinson

CHEYENNE – A former Cheyenne counselor pleaded guilty earlier this month to sexual assault and theft charges after he was accused of having a sexual relationship with a patient and improperly billing Medicaid for their sessions.

At his July 9 arraignment, William Dale Robinson pleaded guilty to two felony charges as part of a stipulated plea agreement: second-degree sexual assault by a health care provider and theft (obtaining by false pretenses). Because the agreement was stipulated, Robinson may withdraw his plea if a judge does not go along with the agreement at sentencing.

In exchange for the guilty plea, the state and Robinson agreed to a sentence of three to five years of incarceration for the sexual assault charge, along with 36 months of probation for the theft charge, with a suspended sentence of 12 to 16 months of incarceration. The sentence for the theft charge would be served consecutively to the sexual assault sentence.

Robinson also agreed to pay $6,397.36 in restitution to the Wyoming Department of Health, Division of Healthcare Financing.

Laramie County District Judge Catherine Rogers set his sentencing for Oct. 14.

While working as a licensed professional counselor and part-owner of Capitol Counseling, 1918 Thomes Ave., Robinson had an ongoing sexual relationship with one of his patients, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case. Robinson admitted in the plea agreement that, after having the woman as a client for several years, he approached her 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.

Robinson falsely claimed a total of $6,397.36, the agreement said.

In September 2018, a complaint from the Wyoming Mental Health Professionals Licensing Board was referred to the Wyoming Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The complaint alleged Robinson tried to bill Wyoming Medicaid for times when he had sex with his patient, according to the 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, the woman 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, but that Robinson tried to convince her to continue the sexual contact.

The woman said she did not see Robinson for any therapy sessions 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.

The investigation began in October 2018 and concluded in January 2021, according to the plea agreement. Prior to the 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, the agreement says.

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

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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