The woman who was caught committing an “awful” kidnapping hoax way back in 2016 is now facing down a prison sentence for her actions — and she’s clearly hoping for a light ruling from the judge in this twisted case.
Perezcious readers will no doubt recall the story of Sherri Papini. In November of 2016, the mother of two was supposedly kidnapped in Shasta County, California while out on a jog. But after a dogged investigation by local police that even grew to involved the FBI, Papini’s story fell apart. Four years later, in August of 2020, detectives put together enough evidence to determine Papini had made up the kidnapping and worked with an ex-boyfriend to disappear for several weeks. A real-life Gone Girl.
In April of this year, Papini pleaded guilty to counts of mail fraud and making false statements to law enforcement officers. Now, early next week, she will stand before a judge to face sentencing over her guilty plea in this infamous case. And based on newly filed court documents, it sounds like she’s really hoping for a lenient term.
According to Law & Crime, which published a court filing from Papini’s attorney William Portanova on Wednesday night, the disgraced 39-year-old mother is asking a judge for a term of “no more than eight months” with only “one month in custody and seven months of home detention.”
At issue, Portanova claims, is that Papini has supposedly already suffered from the public fallout of her act.
In a long-winded diatribe about his client’s regretful behavior, Portanova wrote to the judge that the embattled woman was caught living a horrible lie:
“Ms. Papini maintained the lie for years thereafter, terrified that she had actually destroyed the one thing in her life that brought her true love and happiness, her family, desperately praying that the day of discovery would never come. Once discovered, she lied again until there was nowhere else to go but to admit the truth of the matter.”
He goes on to write that Papini’s name is “now synonymous with this awful hoax.” Well, yeah. She did it and then admitted to doing it in a court of law, soooo…
There was a huge media firestorm around Papini’s supposed kidnapping, and it only grew when news broke that the whole thing was a fraud. Now, Portanova is hoping to throw the mercy of his client on the court. The attorney added:
“The lies are out, the guilt admitted, the shame universally seen, [and it is] already intense and feels like a life sentence.”
It may “feel like a life sentence” to be so infamous, but we don’t see how that could possibly sway the judge to lessen the sentence. By that logic, everyone who commits the most detestable crimes would get disproportionately light sentences because they’re suffering so much public shame. Josh Duggar? Cut a few years off. Harvey Weinstein? Mercy. No, sorry, this argument is completely backwards.
Anyway, Papini’s defense team concluded with a flourish, too:
“That day of reckoning has arrived, and anyone who cares to read about it knows the darkest depths of her sickest mind. The most shameful part of her is now a matter of public discourse, and she sees that knowledge every day in the eyes of most of the people she encounters. But the real pain is knowing the hurt she has caused so many people, and that she must spend the rest of her life trying to repair the damage she has done to her children.”
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors are requesting she receive eight months in prison. You can see more about that (below):
Now, the matter will go before a judge, and one way or another everybody involved will have some type of legal closure.
Papini’s sentencing will take place on Monday at the Robert T. Matsui Courthouse of the Eastern District of California‘s Ninth Circuit Court in Sacramento. Where do YOU think the judge should fall on this one?
[Image via CBS Sacramento/YouTube]