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.

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