Sherri Papini sentenced to 18 months after fabricating 2016 kidnapping

REDDING, Calif — Sherri Papini, who made national headlines when she was reported missing nearly six years ago, will spend time behind bars for fabricating the story.

On Monday, a judge sentenced Papini to 18 months (1 year, 6 months) in prison, followed by three years of post prison supervision. In April, she pleaded guilty to charges, stemming from lying to federal agents about her kidnapping.

Papini was reported missing on November 2nd, 2016. It prompted an extensive search across northern California, before she was located three weeks later in Yolo county.

According to police at the time, Papini was found with multiple bruises, and told detectives she was taken by two armed Hispanic women.

Following an investigation years later, detectives determined that the story was false. Instead, she was voluntarily staying with an ex-boyfriend in southern California.

Prosecutors further added that Papini harmed herself to support the claims, and received more than $30,000 through victim’s assistance from 2017 to 2021.

“Sherri has admitted her guilt on this thing from day one and has publicly confessed her crime,” William Portanove, attorney representing Papini, told reporters before sentencing. “We do know that whatever happened five years ago, that’s a different Sherri Papini that you see here today.” 

Portanove said the sentencing was longer than they’d originally hoped, but also called it fair.

Papini is also ordered to pay more than $300,000 in restitution.

Anthony Carter is a reporter for NBC5 News. He grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Elizabethtown College in 2019. Anthony started his career as a print journalist, covering New York sports and the NBA Draft. He then started his own sports podcast and website covering the Arena Football League. Anthony moved to the Rogue Valley in 2019 as a news producer before joining the NBC5 News family. Anthony likes to workout at the gym, play basketball, and root for his Atlanta Hawks and New York Jets. Want to connect with Anthony? send him an email: [email protected]
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