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Sherri Papini sentenced to 18 months in prison for kidnapping hoax

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A judge on Monday sentenced a Northern California mother of two to 18 months in prisonfor meticulously faking her own kidnapping so she could go back to a former boyfriend. The scheme prompted an intensive three-week, multi-state search before she resurfaced on Thanksgiving Day in 2016.Sherri Papini, 40, pleaded guilty last spring under a plea bargain that includes paying more than $300,000 in restitution. Her lawyer said she was troubled and disgraced and should serve most of the sentence at home while prosecutors said it was imperative she spend her full term in prison.Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb sentenced Papini to a lengthier term than prosecutors had requested, following a final hearing in Sacramento federal court.Prosecutors had asked that Papini get eight months in prison. The 18-month prison sentence will be followed by 36 months of supervised probation. Inside the courtroom, Papini apologized and said she accepted responsibility. Judge Shubb said that Papini would probably still be telling lies if she wasn’t caught, KCRA 3’s Brittany Johnson reported. Papini was told to turn herself in by 2 p.m. on Nov. 8. “Papini’s kidnapping hoax was deliberate, well planned, and sophisticated,” prosecutors had written in their court filing. And she was still falsely telling people she was kidnapped, prosecutors said, months after she pleaded guilty in April to staging the abduction and lying to the FBI about it.“The nation is watching the outcome of Papini’s sentencing hearing,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Veronica Alegria and Shelley Weger wrote. “The public needs to know that there will be more than a slap on the wrist for committing financial fraud and making false statements to law enforcement, particularly when those false statements result in the expenditure of substantial resources and implicate innocent people.”Probation officers and Papini’s attorney had said she should serve one month in custody and seven months in supervised home detention. “Outwardly sweet and loving, yet capable of intense deceit … Ms. Papini’s chameleonic personalities drove her to simultaneously crave family security and the freedom of youth,” defense attorney William Portanova wrote in his responding court filing.So “in pursuit of a non-sensical fantasy,” Portanova said the married mother fled to a former boyfriend in Southern California, nearly 600 miles south of her home in Redding. He dropped her off along Interstate 5 about 150 miles from her home after she said she wanted to go home.Passersby found her with bindings on her body, a swollen nose, a blurred “brand” on her right shoulder, bruises and rashes across her body, ligature marks on her wrists and ankles, and burns on her left forearm. All the injuries were self-inflicted, and all designed to support her story that she had been abducted at gunpoint by two Hispanic women while she was out for a run.The wounds were a manifestation of her “unsettled masochism” and “self-inflicted penance,” Portanova wrote. And once she began, “each lie demanded another lie.”Prosecutors said Papini’s ruse harmed more than just herself and her family. “An entire community believed the hoax and lived in fear that Hispanic women were roving the streets to abduct and sell women,” they wrote.Prosecutors had agreed to seek a sentence on the low end of the sentencing range in exchange for Papini’s guilty plea. She faced a maximum of 25 years for the two charges.Portanova, Papini’s defense lawyer, said outside court Monday that the judge’s sentence “did not miss the mark” and was fair despite being “longer than we’d wish.” “He knew her heart by the time he sentenced her,” Portanova said. Asked about the judge’s comment that Papini would still be telling lies if she wasn’t caught, Portanova said, that when Papini had come to his office, “she told us the truth, maybe not immediately but it was the truth.” Papini has offered no rationale for her actions, which stumped even independent mental health experts who said her actions don’t conform with any typical diagnosis. After her arrest in March, Papini received more than $30,000 worth of psychiatric care for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She billed the state’s victim compensation fund for the treatment, and now must pay it back as part of her restitution.As part of the plea agreement, she has agreed to reimburse law enforcement agencies more than $150,000 for the costs of the search for her and her nonexistent kidnappers, and repay the $128,000 she received in disability payments since her return.| VIDEO BELOW | Sherri Papini’s husband files for divorce

A judge on Monday sentenced a Northern California mother of two to 18 months in prison
for meticulously faking her own kidnapping so she could go back to a former boyfriend. The scheme prompted an intensive three-week, multi-state search before she resurfaced on Thanksgiving Day in 2016.

Sherri Papini, 40, pleaded guilty last spring under a plea bargain that includes paying more than $300,000 in restitution. Her lawyer said she was troubled and disgraced and should serve most of the sentence at home while prosecutors said it was imperative she spend her full term in prison.

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Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb sentenced Papini to a lengthier term than prosecutors had requested, following a final hearing in Sacramento federal court.

Prosecutors had asked that Papini get eight months in prison. The 18-month prison sentence will be followed by 36 months of supervised probation.

This content is imported from Twitter.
You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from Twitter.
You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Inside the courtroom, Papini apologized and said she accepted responsibility. Judge Shubb said that Papini would probably still be telling lies if she wasn’t caught, KCRA 3’s Brittany Johnson reported.

Papini was told to turn herself in by 2 p.m. on Nov. 8.

“Papini’s kidnapping hoax was deliberate, well planned, and sophisticated,” prosecutors had written in their court filing. And she was still falsely telling people she was kidnapped, prosecutors said, months after she pleaded guilty in April to staging the abduction and lying to the FBI about it.

“The nation is watching the outcome of Papini’s sentencing hearing,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Veronica Alegria and Shelley Weger wrote. “The public needs to know that there will be more than a slap on the wrist for committing financial fraud and making false statements to law enforcement, particularly when those false statements result in the expenditure of substantial resources and implicate innocent people.”

Probation officers and Papini’s attorney had said she should serve one month in custody and seven months in supervised home detention.

“Outwardly sweet and loving, yet capable of intense deceit … Ms. Papini’s chameleonic personalities drove her to simultaneously crave family security and the freedom of youth,” defense attorney William Portanova wrote in his responding court filing.

So “in pursuit of a non-sensical fantasy,” Portanova said the married mother fled to a former boyfriend in Southern California, nearly 600 miles south of her home in Redding. He dropped her off along Interstate 5 about 150 miles from her home after she said she wanted to go home.

Passersby found her with bindings on her body, a swollen nose, a blurred “brand” on her right shoulder, bruises and rashes across her body, ligature marks on her wrists and ankles, and burns on her left forearm. All the injuries were self-inflicted, and all designed to support her story that she had been abducted at gunpoint by two Hispanic women while she was out for a run.

The wounds were a manifestation of her “unsettled masochism” and “self-inflicted penance,” Portanova wrote. And once she began, “each lie demanded another lie.”

Prosecutors said Papini’s ruse harmed more than just herself and her family. “An entire community believed the hoax and lived in fear that Hispanic women were roving the streets to abduct and sell women,” they wrote.

Prosecutors had agreed to seek a sentence on the low end of the sentencing range in exchange for Papini’s guilty plea. She faced a maximum of 25 years for the two charges.

Portanova, Papini’s defense lawyer, said outside court Monday that the judge’s sentence “did not miss the mark” and was fair despite being “longer than we’d wish.”

“He knew her heart by the time he sentenced her,” Portanova said.

Asked about the judge’s comment that Papini would still be telling lies if she wasn’t caught, Portanova said, that when Papini had come to his office, “she told us the truth, maybe not immediately but it was the truth.”

Papini has offered no rationale for her actions, which stumped even independent mental health experts who said her actions don’t conform with any typical diagnosis.

After her arrest in March, Papini received more than $30,000 worth of psychiatric care for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She billed the state’s victim compensation fund for the treatment, and now must pay it back as part of her restitution.

As part of the plea agreement, she has agreed to reimburse law enforcement agencies more than $150,000 for the costs of the search for her and her nonexistent kidnappers, and repay the $128,000 she received in disability payments since her return.

| VIDEO BELOW | Sherri Papini’s husband files for divorce

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