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California woman gets 18 months for kidnapping hoax

California-Faked Kidnapping
Posted at 11:31 AM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 15:30:34-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California woman has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for faking her own kidnapping so she could go back to a former boyfriend, which led to a three-week, multi-state search.

Forty-year-old Sherri Papini pleaded guilty last spring under a plea bargain.

U.S. District Judge William Shubb said he opted for a longer sentence than prosecutors recommended in order to deter others.

Papini was reported missing on Nov. 2, 2016, and was found 22 days later.

At the time, Papini told law enforcement officials that two Hispanic women had abducted her at gunpoint.

Passersby found her with injuries, including a blurred “brand” on her right shoulder.

Through their investigation, however, the Justice Department found that she wasn't abducted, according to a news release.

In August 2020, when investigators presented their evidence to her, she kept to her original kidnapping story, the DOJ said.

All of her injuries were self-inflicted.

The married mother of two was actually staying with a former boyfriend in Southern California.

He dropped her off about three weeks after she disappeared.

Papini also received $30,000 in victim assistance from the California Victim’s Compensation Board to pay for her to visit her therapist and for the ambulance ride to the hospital after she was initially found, which she must now pay back as part of her restitution.