Sherri Papini's life has turned upside down after the California mom was arrested and accused of faking her kidnapping in 2016. The 39-year-old is facing charges of making false statements to federal law enforcement and mail fraud, the worst kind of fraud to some, in what was allegedly an effort to spend time with an ex while away from her family.
After her arrest Thursday, Papini went from enjoying her freedom to fighting for her freedom. She also went from a special diet to the food served within the California jail system, which didn't sit well in her stomach. According to the New York Post, Papini's lawyer, Michael Borges, urged his client to be released because she could not eat the food served in the Sacramento County Jail.
"She has allergies that affect her ability to eat the food that's been provided to her in Sacramento County Jail," Borges said, according to the Post. "[She] had not been provided with any food other than a part of an apple ... to eat. She has not been able to eat since she's been detained yesterday morning."
Papini was ordered to remain in custody until her hearing Tuesday, March 8 and was considered a flight risk. After the arrested, Papini's spokesperson and her husband slammed the police for the charges. "Sherri and Keith have cooperated with law enforcement's requests despite repeated attempts to unnecessarily pit them against each other, empty threats to publicly embarrass them and other conduct that was less than professional," Chris Thomas told the outlet. "We are confused by several aspects of the charges and hope to get clarification in the coming days."
The investigation into the 2016 kidnapping treated Papini as the victim until DNA evidence led to an ex-boyfriend and raised questions about the narrative presented. Before the DNA reveal, Papini'd husband was the one who reported her missing and authorities were on the lookout for two Hispanic women who allegedly committed the crime.
"Countless hours were spent following leads, all in an effort to bring this woman back to her family. Three weeks later, she was found 146 miles south of where she disappeared, and the focus went from trying to find her to trying to find her abductors," U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert said in the DOJ's release on the charges. "Ultimately, the investigation revealed that there was no kidnapping and that time and resources that could have been used to investigate actual crime, protect the community, and provide resources to victims were wasted based on the defendant's conduct."
"She was presented with evidence that showed she had not been abducted. Instead of retracting her kidnapping story, Papini continued to make false statements about her purported abductors," the statement continued. If convicted of the charges, Papini could see five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the false statements, and could see 20 years maximum and another $250,000 fine due to the mail fraud.