False Kidnapping for Ex-Boyfriend


Te'kail Barnes, Writer

In california, a 40 year old woman named Sherri Papini pleaded guilty to staging an abduction and lying to the FBI about it. She told the FBI that she was abducted by 2 hispanic women. Papini is a mother of 2 and is going to prison for 18 months for faking her own kidnapping to go back to an ex-boyfriend. There was a multi-state search for her for about 3 weeks before she resurfaced on Thanksgiving. Papini left to live with her boyfriend in Southern California, which is nearly 600 miles away from her home in Redding. Papini felt homesick, so her boyfriend dropped her off about 150 miles away along Interstate 5 from her home. Officer passerby found her with a swollen nose, burns on her left forearm, bruises, rashes and bindings across her body, a blurred “brand” on her right shoulder, and ligature marks on her ankles and wrists. All of these wounds were self-inflicted to go along with her story. NPR said, “After her arrest in March, Papini received more than $30,000 worth of psychiatric care for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She billed the state’s victim compensation fund for the treatment and was ordered to pay it back as part of her restitution.” Papini is required to pay about $300,000 in restitution as part of a plea bargain and she also has to reimburse law enforcement agencies more than $150,000 for the costs of the search for her and her nonexistent kidnappers, and to repay the $128,000 she received in disability payments since her return. She had to spend a month in custody and seven months in supervised home detention. Many wanted her to spend eight months behind bars. “…Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb said he opted for an 18-month sentence in order to deter others”, According to NPR. Her husband filed for a divorce and sought out custody for their children. On November 8th, Shubb ordered Papini to serve an additional 36 months of supervision after her release, a year longer than the probation officers had sought. The charges carried a possible maximum of 25 years in prison. “I’m so sorry to the many people who have suffered because of me,” Papini said. “I am guilty, your honor. I am guilty of lying. I am guilty of dishonor,”, “What is done cannot be undone. It cannot be erased”. According to NPR, both the Assistant U.S. Attorney Veronica Alegria and the judge said her comments were more manipulation than anything and added “Papini probably won’t be able to repay the money ‘Unless she wins the lottery’ “.