Hoax Kidnapping Yields Jail Term In Pennsylvania


Although senencing guidelines called for probation, a Pennsylvania judge gave Bonnie Sweeten 9 to 24 months i jail for a faked kidnapping that drew national attention in May, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Judge Jeffrey Finley said the actions of the suburban mother of three had created widespread fear, stirred racial tensions, taxed law enforcement resources, and inflicted severe humiliation on her own loved ones, especially her three children. He called Sweeten, 38, “a calculating, manipulative, cold-blooded woman.”

Her father, William Siner, then cried out and attacked three TV cameramen waiting outside the courtroom. On May 26, Sweeten called 911, claiming to have been carjacked along with her 9-year-old daughter. She said in the call that two black men had rear-ended her SUV and abducted the girl and her in a black Cadillac. The kidnapping, which set off a massive police dragnet and an Amber Alert, turned out to be a hoax. Sweeten and daughter Julia Rakoczy turned up the next day at a luxury resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

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