California Mom Sherri Papini Pleads Guilty To Faking Her Own Kidnapping
Almost six years after her story of kidnapping and torture made national news and prompted a search for the perpetrators, the Northern California mom Sherri Papini has now pleaded guilty to faking the story.
Papini’s attorney William Portanova released this statement on her behalf. “I am deeply ashamed of myself for my behavior and so sorry for the pain I’ve caused my family, my friends, all the good people who needlessly suffered because of my story and those who worked hard to try to help me. I will work the rest of my life to make amends for what I’ve done.”
Papini was first reported missing by her husband in 2016, and when she was found she told police that she was abducted by two masked Hispanic women who tortured her for weeks, even allegedly branding her and leaving her with a wound on her shoulder. Papini’s description of these false suspects triggered a manhunt that stretched several states and lasted five years according to authorites.
An ex-boyfriend of hers later confessed to authorities that he picked up Papini at her request, and was the one who gave her the brand with a wood-burning tool. Papini reportedly lied to authorities even after they confronted her with evidence of the faked kidnapping, and even requested victim assistance funds to pay for therapy visits and offset the costs of the ambulance she rode in when she was found.
Papini has agreed to plead guilty to two counts of mail fraud and lying to a law enforcement officer. While they carry maximum sentences of 20 years and five years respectively, prosecutors have said they will be recommending reduced sentences for Papini. She has also been ordered to pay over $300,00 in restitution to agencies she duped.