‘Overworked’ tech fakes 1,200 mammogram results, tells women with cancer they were healthy
PERRY, Ga. (CNN) – A former hospital technician was sentenced to up to six months in prison after she pleaded guilty to manipulating the mammogram results of 1,289 patients.
Prosecutors say 10 of those women were given false negatives and two of them have since died of cancer.
According to court documents, 33-year-old Rachael Rapraeger told patients at Perry Hospital that their mammograms were negative when a doctor had never actually reviewed them.
Judge Katherine Lumsden said, “You played Russian roulette with the lives of essentially a thousand women in this community.”
In December 2009, Sharon Holmes was relieved when her mammogram came back negative.
Just two months later, Holmes was diagnosed with breast cancer and learned that it had progressed so much the disease had actually spread to her lymphnodes.
In court, Holmes said, “You could have made a different decision, and my family and I would not be living this nightmare.”
Rapraeger’s attorney says she was overworked, overwhelmed and wasn’t supervised like she should have been.
Floyd Buford, Rapraeger’s attorney, said, “She just could not keep up with her workload and when faced with that, then she started 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.”
Rapraeger pleaded guilty to 10 counts of reckless conduct and one felony count of computer forgery.
She was sentenced to 10 years of probation, a $12,500 fine and will serve up to six months in a detention center.
She also won’t be allowed to hold any job in the health care field for 10 years.
Buford says his client is ‘very remorseful’ and is paying the price for her actions.
However, her victims are not satisfied with the punishment.
Holmes said, “If I’m sentenced, living a sentence of having cancer, then you should live a sentence also behind bars.”
Holmes has been in remission for three years.