THE CALIFORNIA mother who faked her own kidnapping to spend time with her secret ex-boyfriend has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Sherri Papini, 40, pleaded guilty to letter fraud and providing false information in April after sparking a frantic search when she allegedly went missing on November 2, 2016.
As part of her deal, Papini will also face 36 months of supervised probation upon her release and was ordered to pay more than $300,000 in damages.
The judge returned the verdict after Papini made an emotional statement admitting how her dizziness had hurt others, The Sacramento Bee reported.
“I am guilty of lying. I am guilty of dishonour. I stand before you ready to accept. make remorse and concessions. I trust this dish. I trust the officers handling my release and I trust, Your Honor, to see me, to hear me,” she told the court.
The mother-of-two lied about her kidnapping when police later found out she had actually been staying with an ex-partner, James Reyes, who lived about 600 miles from her home.
Papini’s attorney, William Portanova, had demanded that she face a “sentence of not more than eight months, with one month in custody and seven months of house arrest under reasonable conditions.”
However, prosecutors demanded that she serve eight months in prison, arguing that “Papini’s kidnapping scam was intentional, well planned and sophisticated.”
Portanova claimed in a sentencing memorandum that his client has already been adequately tested and punished after being slammed by the public for her decisions, Law & Crime reported.
“Ms. Papini perpetuated the lie for years, terrified that she had in fact destroyed the only thing in her life that brought her true love and happiness, her family, and praying desperately that the day of discovery would never come,” Portanova said for her .
“Once discovered, she lied until there was no other way out than to admit the truth of the matter.”
In the end, the sentence was longer than demanded by the public prosecutor.
Papini conducted a frantic search involving family members, police and the FBI following her disappearance in 2016.
Her family feared that she had been kidnapped after jogging.
Papini’s husband Keith even crashed a meeting with Redding MPs asking for help after she failed to pick up their two young children from daycare.
She was found on Thanksgiving Day – 22 days after she disappeared.
A driver spotted her on the side of a freeway 150 miles from her home.
The mother-of-two told police she had been kidnapped and claimed she was held at gunpoint.
She claimed she was kidnapped by two Hispanic women and provided sketches of the alleged kidnappers.
Papini was found tied up, with a broken nose and a “brand” on her right shoulder.
However, police revealed the injuries were “self-inflicted,” according to NBC.
After a six-year investigation, Papini admitted that her kidnapping claims were a complete fallacy and that she had in fact been cooped up with her ex-boyfriend when she went missing.
Two days after Papini’s bombshell confession, Keith filed for divorce, claiming he and their two children were “traumatized” by their consecutive lies.
“The whole problem started in November 2016 when Sherri left our kids at daycare and just disappeared,” Keith writes in a statement for the Shasta County Family Court in documents obtained by The US Sun.
“Both I and our children in particular were traumatized by her disappearance and I spent a lot of time and money trying to find my wife,” Keith writes.
“The trauma inflicted on our children by the unexpected loss of their mother was heartbreaking,” he added.
In the filing, Keith goes on to accuse his kids of “having a hard time” dealing with the fact that their mother would lie to them about “such a big issue.”
Keith also claims Papini suffers from “significant” mental health issues and is unable to provide “good parenting” for her children, ages nine and seven.
Keith was seeking full custody of the children, adding: “We, both the children and I, need time to recover and to stabilise.
“I am asking that the court help me protect my children from the negative effects of their mother’s notoriety.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6254004/sherri-papini-sentenced-james-reyes/ Sherri Papini, 40, sentenced to 18 months in prison after a California mother faked her own kidnapping to be with ex James Reyes