One of the scariest things for a woman is the possibility of getting breast cancer, which is why many women diligently check themselves for lumps at home each month and have regular mammogram screenings. Taking such preventative measures is great, unless you’re one of the hundreds of women that former technician Rachael Rapraeger victimized by falsifying their mammogram reports.
That’s right–a radiological technician at Perry Hospital in Perry, Georgia falsified mammogram reports for approximately 1,300 women, saying that all of the women were free of any signs of cancer. At least 10 of these women had lumps or cancerous tumors, and two women died from cancer after being cleared. Rapraeger’s crimes came to light back in 2010, but it wasn’t until earlier this month that she pleaded guilty to 10 misdemeanor charges of reckless conduct and one felony charge of computer forgery.
One would think that committing such a crime that damned at least two women and postponed cancer treatment for others would carry a pretty hefty sentence, right? Wrong. Rachael Rapraeger (pictured below) was sentenced only to up to six months in a detention center, 10 years of probation, and a $12,500 fine. To further add insult to injury, Rapraeger isn’t even banned from working in the healthcare field for life–her ban will last only as long as her probation.
— [ Legal News ] (@getinsidelegal) April 16, 2014
When asked why she falsified the mammogram reports, Rapraeger said that it was because personal issues caused her to fall behind in her work. Instead of working late or letting her superiors know that she couldn’t complete the work, according to The Augusta Chronicle, Rapraeger decided to access “the hospital’s computer system, assumed the identities of physicians, and gave each patient a clear reading.”
“She just could not keep up with her workload and when faced with that, she started doing what she did…trying to make her hospital employer happy, not realizing what the consequences could be…she’s going to be paying a price, but even without that she’s very remorseful,” explained Floyd Buford, Rapraeger’s attorney.
Considering that some criminals receive much longer prison terms for crimes that don’t actually harm anyone, the news of Rachael Rapraeger’s crimes and light sentence has shocked and outraged the web:
Give lying mammogram tech a total mastectomy, and a dose of chemo along with jail, let her know how it feels.
— socially challenged (@dialarotor) April 28, 2014
6 months in jail for falsifying mammogram results? What kind of justice is this? http://t.co/AdHQbR1cyZ
— gabe (@mangoparent) April 28, 2014
— Nippy Pinto (@nippypinto) April 22, 2014
While most people seem to agree that Rachael Rapraeger’s sentence was anything but just, deputy chief assistant district attorney Daniel Bibler thinks the judge got the sentence right. “I think it’s a fair sentence based on what happened and based on her cooperation in this case,” Bibler said.
Victim Sharon Holmes, who was cleared of cancer by Rapraeger only to find out that she had cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes, thinks that the sentence is anything but fair. “If I’m living a sentence of having cancer then you should live a sentence behind bars,” Holmes said.
Image via Wikimedia Commons