Sherri Papini, the California mother who faked her kidnapping in 2016 in a hoax that was exposed with the help of DNA technology, was sentenced to a year and a half in prison on Monday, CNN reports. Judge William Shubb determined Papini, 40, should serve 18 months in prison followed by 36 months of supervised release after she pleaded guilty to mail fraud and making false statements. She was also ordered to pay nearly $310,000 in restitution. Prosecutors had asked for an eight-month term, while the defense sought one month in custody and seven months of home detention.
Papini said, "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." She said she was guilty of lying and dishonor, and was ready "to repent and to concede." In 2016, Papini was reported missing after she went out for a jog near her home in Northern California. Three weeks later, she was found injured and alone on a highway about 140 miles away. She told police she had been abducted and tortured by two masked, Spanish-speaking women who kept her chained in a closet, held her at gunpoint and branded her with a heated tool. The accusations led authorities to carry out an extensive search for the supposed Hispanic captors that came up empty. Her story fell apart when investigators in 2020 connected DNA from her clothing to an ex-boyfriend, who admitted that the supposed kidnapping was a hoax.