A woman who pled guilty to falsifying 1,300 mammogram reports at a Georgia hospital received a surprisingly light sentence in a plea deal.
After hiding positive mammogram results to avoid doing extra paperwork, radiological technologist Rachael Rapraeger received only six months in a detention center, 10 years of probation and a $12,500 fine, according to Fox News.
Despite pleading guilty to 10 misdemeanor charges and one felony, Rapraeger would not apologize at the final hearing, Fox News reported. Authorities said Rapraeger ignored proper procedures, using the Perry Hospital computers to assume the identities of the attending physicians and give the all-clear to 1,300 mammogram films.
Sharon Holmes discovered a lump on her breast barely three months after she had been told her mammogram found no cancer.
“To me, that was a death sentence,” she told The Associated Press. “I’m thinking I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, getting my tests done, and then I find out someone else isn’t doing their job.”
She underwent surgery a month later for aggressive stage 2 cancer, and after chemo and radiation treatments, Holmes was unable to go back to work.
Rapraeger could not explain her motivation, other than to say she had fallen behind in her work and stopped caring about things, her attorney, Floyd Buford, told the Associated Press. Her deceptions were uncovered by an internal hospital investigation, when a patient given the green light at Perry went to another hospital and received a positive mammogram result. Rapraeger was fired a week after the probe concluded.
A bitter Sarah Bailey related that her breast cancer had reached the point of no return after she had been deceived, and that her entire breast had to be removed, rather than just a lump. “I feel like we were thrown under the bus, and there will be an election day,” she said, referring to her plan to organize a campaign against Houston Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Hartwig.
Houston District Attorney George Hartwig told AP his office carefully weighed the evidence and Rapraeger’s admission of guilt, but could not pinpoint specific instances of wrongdoing, even though nine women were found to have cancerous tumors.
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