Rapraeger pleads guilty, sentenced in superior court

Rachel Michelle Rapraeger was accused of telling more than 1200 women their mammograms came back clean, although a doctor never read the results.

The case has been going on for a few years, and many thought Rapraeger would see a trial by jury, but instead she was offered a plea agreement.

Her attorney, Floyd Buford told 13WMAZ's Jennifer Moulliet if it did go to trial, the prosecution would have a tough time, because there was a lack of evidence.

He said the hospital had destroyed Rapraeger's computer and hard drive. He also said they only had a copy of one of the ten mammograms that turned out to be false negatives, and didn't think the lack of evidence would help either side.

Judge Katherine Lumsden told the victims in court Tuesday afternoon no sentence would fix what Rachel Rapraeger did, and said she played Russian roulette with the test results.

"You could have made a different decision and my family and I would not be living this nightmare," Sharon Holmes read to the court.

Rapraeger gave Holmes a false reading in December 2009, two months later Holmes found out she had breast cancer, and it had spread into her lymph nodes.

"Just letting her know what she's done by not following the rules or her job like she's supposed to be doing," says Holmes.

Rapraeger's attorney said she was overworked and overwhelmed. He said she wasn't supervised like should have been and a hospital employee gave her radiologist's pin numbers.

"She just could not keep up with her workload and when faced with that, she started doing what she did not making money but trying to make her hospital employer happy not realizing what the consequences could be," explained Floyd Buford.

Rapraeger plead guilty to ten counts of reckless conduct and one count of computer forgery. Judge Lumsden sentenced her to twelve months probation for each of the ten counts of reckless conduct, and ten years to serve up to 160 days in a state detention center.

"I think it's a fair sentence based on what happened and based on her cooperation in this case," said Daniel Bibler, the deputy chief assistant district attorney.

Buford said, "She's going to be paying a price, but even without that she's very remorseful."

But Holmes isn't satisfied with Rapraeger's punishment. "If I'm living a sentence of having cancer then you should live a sentence behind bars," she said.

She says it took courage to face Rapraeger for the first time, but she wanted her to know "I'm not a name on a piece of paper, I'm a person, and I think she will remember me."

Sharon Holmes calls herself a survivor and has been in remission for three years.

Rachel Michelle Rapraeger was not taken into custody Tuesday afternoon, the judge ordered her to start serving her sentence Thursday morning.

It's not known yet to which state detention center she will be assigned.


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