PERRY, Ga. (CNN) – Prosecutors say 10 women with cancer were told their mammograms were clean. Now a woman is headed to prison for lying about those results.
Rachel Michelle Rapraeger pleaded guilty Tuesday in Perry, Georgia.
“You played Russian roulette with their lives, essentially, thousands of lives in this community,” Judge Katherine Lumsden said to her in court.
Rapraeger sat in front of the judge and several women who Rapraeger told had negative mammogram readings, when in fact a doctor never read the results.
“You could have made a different decision and my family and I would not be living in this situation,” said Sharon Holmes.
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 had done by not following the rules, or doing her job like she’s supposed to be doing.”
Rapraeger’s attorney says she was overworked and overwhelmed. He said she wasn’t supervised like should have been and she says a hospital employee gave her radiologists’ PIN numbers.
“She just could not keep up with her workload and when faced with that, then she doing what she did, not to make any money but to try to make her hospital employer happy, not realizing what the consequences could be,” said Floyd Buford, the defense attorney.
Rapraeger pleaded guilty to 10 counts of reckless conduct and one count of computer forgery.
Judge Lumsden sentenced her to 12 months probation for each of the 10 counts of reckless conduct — and 10 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, Deputy Chief Assistant Attorney.
“She’s going to be paying a price but even without that, she’s very remorseful,” said Buford.
However, Sharon Holmes isn’t satisfied with Rapraeger’s punishment.
“If I’m sentenced — living a sentence, of having cancer, then you should live a sentence also behind bars,” said Holmes.
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,” Holmes said.
Sharon Holmes now calls herself a survivor — and has been in remission for three years.
Rapraeger was ordered to start serving her sentence Thursday morning. It’s not known yet which state detention center she will be going to.