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Sherri Papini sentenced to 18 months for kidnapping hoax. Here’s a timeline of the case

SHARE Sherri Papini sentenced to 18 months for kidnapping hoax. Here’s a timeline of the case
Sherri Papini leaves the federal courthouse after Federal Judge William Shubb sentenced her to 18 months in federal prison, in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Papini was sentenced to 18 months in prison for faking her own kidnapping in 2016.

Sherri Papini leaves the federal courthouse after Federal Judge William Shubb sentenced her to 18 months in federal prison, in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Papini was sentenced to 18 months in prison for faking her own kidnapping.

Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

A California woman who faked her own kidnapping in 2016 has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Sherri Papini, who claimed she had been kidnapped by two Hispanic women, pled guilty to staging her abduction and lying about it to the FBI, according to The Associated Press.

Prosecutors asked for an eight-month sentence in prison, but the judge more than doubled their request, sentencing her to 18 months in prison. She will also pay more than $300,000 in restitution fees.

Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb said he sentenced Papini to 18 months in order to deter others. He also considered “the sheer number of people who were impacted,” including the Latino community that was affected by her lies.

“Papini caused innocent individuals to become targets of a criminal investigation,” prosecutors said, according to CNN. “She left the public in fear of her alleged Hispanic capturers who purportedly remained at large.”

Papini apologized in a statement to the judge, saying, “I am so sorry to the many people who have suffered because of me. The people who sacrificed for the broken woman I was. The people who gave willingly to help me in a time that I so desperately needed help. I thank you all.”

Here’s a full timeline of the Sherri Papini case:

  • Nov. 2, 2016 — Papini’s husband reports her as missing.
  • Nov. 24, 2016 — A driver finds Papini on a rural road. Papini is bound, injured and has a “brand” on her right shoulder, according to the Department of Justice press release. Papini claims she had been forced into an SUV at gunpoint and abused by two Hispanic women.
  • August 2020 — Officials find that the DNA collected from Papini’s clothes matches her ex-boyfriend’s. He admits to helping Papini stage the abduction so they could run away together because she claimed her husband was abusing her. He tells officials that she stayed with him at his apartment in Costa Mesa until she told him that she missed her children and wanted to go home, according to People Magazine.
  • March 3, 2022 — Papini is arrested.
  • April 18, 2022 — Papini officially pleads guilty.
  • April 20, 2022 — Papini’s husband files for divorce.
  • Sept. 19, 2022 — Papini is sentenced to 18 months in prison.