A white Northern California woman has pleaded guilty after faking a 2016 kidnapping and blaming “two Hispanic women” for the crime.
On Monday (April 18), 39-year-old Sherri Papini appeared in court and testified that she had lied to the FBI.
In 2016, after being missing for three weeks Papini decided to come back for Thanksgiving Day. Her kidnapping led to an intense search which included a massive amount of manhours and resources to locate the Redding, California resident.
As the married mother of two sat in court, sources say she had no real reason as to why she committed the crime.
Senior U.S. District Judge William asked Papini how she felt and she responded, “I feel very sad.”
When asked if she was ever kidnapped, she said that she had not been.
The judge pressed on asking, “Did you lie to government agents when you told them you were kidnapped?”
Papini admitted that she had. Her lie to officials stated that two Hispanic women had kidnapped her at gunpoint.
After taking a plea deal with prosecutors last week, Papini agreed that she would be sentenced on July 11 for her crimes. The mother of two faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, however, she may only serve between eight and 14 months in custody after taking the deal.
Papini will pay nearly $300,000 to authorities to cover the cost of her search that expanded over multiple states on the West Coast.
During her disappearance, she had been staying with her boyfriend about 600 miles away from Orange County. When she returned, she had noticeable bruises and had been “branded.”
Her attorney, William Portanova, said that his client had “a very complicated mental health situation.”
During her testimony, Papini revealed that she had been receiving therapy to treat depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. The treatments — which were covered by a state victim compensation fund — totaled over $30, 000. The cost of her treatments will be added to her restitution.