Sherri Papini sentenced to 18 months in prison for faking her own kidnapping

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Sherri Papini sentenced to 18 months in prison for faking her own kidnapping

Sherri Papini, seen here in a photo released by the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 3, 2016, is accused of faking the story of her own abduction. Photo courtesy Shasta County Sheriff’s Office

Sherri Papini, the California woman who pleaded guilty to faking her own kidnapping after she said she was abducted by two Hispanic women in 2016, was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison.

Papini, 40, was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb in Sacramento to turn herself in to begin her prison sentence by 2 p.m. on Nov. 8, ABC News reported. She was also sentenced to 36 months of supervised release when her prison time ends.

William Portanova, Papini’s attorney called her prison sentence “fair” in comments to NBC News after her hearing.

“Whatever happened five years ago, that’s a different Sherri Papini than the person you see here today,” he said.

Court documents obtained by UPI show that prosecutors had requested that Papini, who has two children, serve an eight-month sentence in prison rather than a lesser sentence of house arrest — which her attorneys had requested.

“Papini planned and executed a sophisticated kidnapping hoax, and then continued to perpetuate her false statements for years after her return without regard for the harm she caused others,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum ahead of the hearing.

“As a result, state and federal investigators devoted limited resources to Papini’s case for nearly four years before they independently learned the truth: that she was not kidnapped or tortured.”

Papini disappeared while out for a jog and was reported missing by her husband on Nov. 2, 2016, after failing to pick up their children from daycare.

She was found three weeks later on Interstate 5, about 150 miles from the jogging trail where she was last seen.

Papini claimed to police that she was abducted at gunpoint by two women who covered their faces but spoke in Spanish and were part of a human trafficking ring.

She was arrested in March and later pleaded guilty to two counts admitting that she engaged in mail fraud and made false statements to authorities.

“Papini not only retold her false statements to law enforcement, including in August 2020 when she was confronted with evidence of the truth, but also to the California Victim Compensation Board and the Social Security Administration in order to obtain financial benefits to which she was not entitled,” prosecutors said.

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