Woman Headed To Prison Over Lying About Mammogram Results; Two People Died

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

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.


  • Jim

    Prison time sounds appropriate. I dont care how overworked you are. If you are not a doctor or authorized to do what she did that is criminal. Made her hospital employer happpy by helping to kill patients by doing what she did is so wrong…

  • y'all B stupid

    Y’all there in Perry Georgia must feel so lucky to have such a fair minded folks looking out for you like Judge Katherine Lumsden and Deputy Chief Assistant Attorney Daniel Bibler.. LOL !!!

  • David

    That’s unconscionable. These women deserved a chance to fight their cancer when it was first caught. She stole that chance from them, and she knew exactly what the consequences would be. She just didn’t give a flip for their lives. How is what she did less deserving of jail time that a drunk getting behind the wheel of a car?

  • Attempted Voice of Reason

    I realize that this woman has caused the endangerment of many lives and the people that read this may not like everything I have to say. I believe her punishment is beyond fair. Reading this article it mentions that a doctor had not looked at the mammograms in questions. The article also mentions that a radiologist gave her a PIN number.
    I feel fairly certain that this woman was not trained in reading mammogram results so she may not have even realized that she was potentially condemning women to death. There is a good chance she gave negative results to many other women that truly were negative.
    Now, why is the radiologist that gave her the PIN not being reprimanded? Or if this person is why is it not mentioned? The radiologist has a great deal of fault on their shoulders as shoulders as well for having given the PIN to this woman which allowed her to falsify records in the first place.
    Then there is the doctor. Why is the doctor not being reprimanded any for not keeping up with their job of taking a few moments to each mammogram so this didn’t happen in the first place? I know hospitals are busy places. But as stated it only takes a few moments to look at these tests. It’s certainly not brain surgery.
    Ah, and her supervisors. Where where they when they should have been keeping an eye on what their employees where up to? And it makes me wonder if they let this slip through the cracks so many years ago – what else has gotten past their “watchful” eyes?

    Yes, what this woman did was wrong. But she is NOT the only person at fault. Please remember that.

    • steve landers

      Give me a break. I bet you have blamed somebody else for everything you have ever done. It does not matter what anybody else did, this woman probably killed these two women just like she put a gun to their head. Blamers like you are what is wrong with society today.

    • sandra

      Look attempted voice of reason she may have had the pin but that gave her no reason to use them after all there are HEPA laws ……and she knew she was not capable of reading those films …she took things into her hands even tho she was not medically train to do so . she deserves all this punishment and more after all it could have been your mom or sister or daughter or friend then the punishment would have not been harsh enough….or that woman with cancer could have been u then how would you feel…..those women who were diagnosed wrong had to go through more treatment bcause of this woman…..chemo and radiation are not a picnic ….look at the victims side of this

  • David

    You can speculate that bad behavior is everyone’s fault from the parents to the teachers to the bosses, or blame it on television, but it sounds more like this person refused to take time and do the work to get the mammograms read, because it was easier to pretend they had been read. And if she didn’t know the consequences, why didn’t she say they were positive, or mix it up? She knew that the women would disappear if she told them the results were negative, because they wouldn’t know they needed treatment. Sorry, but it is her actions and her responsibility.

    • sandra

      You are absolutely right David it so easy to pass the blame stand up dust yourself off and take responsibility for what you’ve done. That’s the least this criminal could do

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.