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California Prison Psychologist Faked Her Own Rape

Unhappy with where she lived, Laurie Ann Martinez, 36, a psychologist employed with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), decided to convince her husband that they needed to move to a safer neighborhood.

Rather than simply having a conversation with her spouse about her desire to relocate, Martinez, who was employed as a supervising senior psychologist at the California State Prison in Sacramento, conspired with a friend, Nicole April Snyder, 33, to create the appearance that she had been beaten, robbed and raped by a stranger. For reporting the fake crime on April 10, 2011, Martinez and Snyder were charged with multiple counts of conspiracy.

Arrested in November 2011 and facing three years in prison, Martinez was freed on $50,000 bail. On January 26, 2012, she pleaded no contest and was sentenced to five years of probation and 180 days on electronic monitoring, plus $4,000 in restitution to cover the cost of the police investigation. She also lost her husband, who filed for divorce a month after the false rape report, and was fired from the CDCR. Additionally, her medical license was suspended.

Martinez’s fake rape plot unraveled after one of her prison co-workers told the police that Martinez had talked at work about staging a crime to persuade her husband to move. By then, police detectives and crime scene investigators had spent hundreds of hours on the case.

In an understatement, Sgt. Andrew Pettit of the Sacramento Police Department said, “If all [Martinez] wanted to do is move, there’s other ways than staging a burglary and rape.” He added, “She went to great lengths to make this appear real.”

Indeed, Martinez reportedly split her own lip with a pin, scraped her knuckles with sandpaper, ripped open her blouse, wet her panties and had Snyder punch her in the face with boxing gloves. Then, when police responded to Martinez’s 911 call, she cried hysterically and told them she had arrived home to find a stranger in the kitchen. When she tried to run away, she said, the suspect grabbed her and hit her in the face, knocking her unconscious; she awoke to find her pants and wet underwear pulled down to her ankles, suggesting she had been raped.

Her purse and various items from her home were missing, Martinez told police, saying they had been stolen by the rapist. In reality, the “missing” items, including two laptops, a camera, a gaming console and credit cards, were at Snyder’s house.

Snyder cooperated with investigators, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to three years of probation plus community service and $4,000 restitution to the police department.

“Law enforcement is not a toy to be casually utilized by people to further their own personal agenda,” said Deputy District Attorney Chris Carlson.

Sources: Associated Press,,,

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