Sat, Jan 28, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Former psychologist pleads no contest to rape hoax

AP, Sacramento, California

A former California prison psychologist accused of staging a home invasion and sexual assault pleaded no contest to a felony conspiracy charge.

Prosecutors say Laurie Ann Martinez, 36, of Sacramento committed the elaborate hoax to convince her husband that they needed to move to a better neighborhood.

In Sacramento County Superior Court on Wednesday, Martinez was sentenced to five years of probation and 180 days of electronic monitoring. She was also ordered to pay more than US$4,000 in restitution for the police investigation.

Martinez made a frantic emergency call in April after she created a scene in her Sacramento home that made it appear as if someone had ransacked the place and attacked her. She split her own lip and had a friend, 33-year-old Nicole Snyder, wear boxing gloves and punch her in the face, police said.

According to the criminal complaint, Martinez rubbed sandpaper on her knuckles, ripped her blouse off to expose her top, dropped her pants to the ankles and “urinated on herself to make officers believe she had lost consciousness,” the Sacramento Bee reported.

The two women also removed two laptop computers, credit cards, a video game console, a purse and a camera from Martinez’s home and hid them at Snyder’s place, according to the complaint.

Snyder, who cooperated with the investigation, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor and was sentenced on Wednesday to three years of probation. She was also ordered to do community service and pay the same restitution fee.

Prosecutors called Martinez’s behavior outrageous, saying it undermined the interests of true sexual assault victims.

Martinez’s attorney Michelle Spaulding said her client is “glad this is over and she would like to get her life back together.”

Martinez has since lost her psychologist’s license and was fired from the Sacramento State prison last month.

Online court records show her husband filed for divorce a month after she filed the false report, the Sacramento Bee reported.

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