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Sherri Papini Released from Halfway House following 10-Month Prison Stay
Papini's husband filed for divorce after she admitted to faking her kidnapping and disappearance.
Sherri Papini has been released from a halfway home after serving 10 months in jail for lying to law enforcement about being kidnapped in 2016.
The California woman left a Sacramento halfway home on Sept. 29 and is now under supervised release for the next three years, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She was moved to the community confinement facility in mid-August.
Papini was initially indicted on 35 charges in 2022, but agreed to a deal in which she pleaded guilty to mail fraud and lying to a law enforcement officer. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release.
The plea deal came more than five years after Papini was reported missing by her husband, Keith Papini, in November 2016. The mother of two was later found on Thanksgiving Day, walking on the side of a road outside Sacramento. When Papini spoke to investigators about the purported kidnapping, she recalled being taken by two Hispanic individuals who held her at gunpoint and confined her to a closet. Eventually, Papini said, one of the women set her free.
But details in her story didn't add up and investigators continued to look into the case, which is chronicled in the Oxygen series Sherri Papini: Lies, Lies and More Lies. They determined in October 2017 that DNA found on Papini's belongings came from a male and not two Hispanic women, as Papini previously claimed. Investigators later linked the DNA to Sherri's ex-boyfriend James Reyes, who lived in Costa Mesa, California.
Facing kidnapping charges, Reyes claimed that Papini had told him her husband was abusive and she needed help escaping the marriage. He agreed to let her stay with him but denied physically abusing Papini, stating that she injured herself.
“Ex-Boyfriend told investigators that it might sound ‘bland,’ but they really just ‘talked,’ ‘hung out,’ and ‘ate food,’ but they did not go anywhere,” an affidavit said, according to previous Oxygen.com reporting.
Papini initially denied lying to law enforcement, but after being indicted on 35 charges, she ultimately confessed to the kidnapping hoax and entered a plea deal.
“I am deeply ashamed of myself for my behavior and so sorry for the pain I’ve caused my family, my friends, all the good people who needlessly suffered because of my story and those who worked so hard to try to help me,” Papini said in a statement obtained by The Sacramento Bee in April 2022. “I will work the rest of my life to make amends for what I have done.”
Keith Papini filed for divorce that same month and sought full custody of their two children. In a statement, he explained that he wanted to "provide a loving, safe, stable environment for [the pair's children] and I believe the requested orders are consistent with that goal and the best interests of the children."