SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California mother of two was sentenced Monday 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 before she resurfaced on Thanksgiving Day in 2016.

Sherri Papini, 40, pleaded guilty last spring to staging the abduction and lying to the FBI about it. As part of a plea bargain, she is required to pay more than $300,000 in restitution.

Probation officers and Papini’s attorney had recommended that she spend a month in custody and seven months in supervised home detention, while prosecutors wanted her to serve the eight months behind bars. But Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb said he opted for an 18-month sentence in order to deter others. 

The judge said he considered the seriousness of the offense and “the sheer number of people who were impacted.” They included law enforcement officers who searched for her, the community that believed her for four years, those who lived in fear because of her fake story of being abducted by two Hispanic women, and the Latino community that was falsely viewed with suspicion.

“The nation is watching,” Shubb said, paraphrasing prosecutors’ …read more



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