Mammogram Technician Falsified Thousands of Results, Misled Women With Breast Cancer Into Thinking They Were Fine
A Georgia mammogram technician has been sentenced to six months in a detention center and 10 years of probation after she falsified more than one thousand mammograms, including giving clean bills of health to at least 10 women who had breast cancer.
Police charged Rachael Rapraeger with 10 counts of reckless conduct and one count of computer forgery. Prosecution offered her a lenient plea bargain, considering she put at least 10 women’s lives in danger, fining the defendant $12,500, banning her from working in the health field, sentencing her to six months at a detention facility, and ordering 10 years of probation.
Sharon Holmes, one of the many patients wrongly told that she was healthy, says she discovered a lump in her breast just three months after getting a clean result from Rapraeger. She went in for a new mammogram in February of 2010 and discovered aggressive stage 2 breast cancer.
Detectives later discovered Rapraeger had been falsely signing off clean mammograms for 18 months.
Holmes says “I’m thinking I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, getting my tests done, and then I find out someone else isn’t doing their job.”
Rapraeger reportedly told police that personal issues caused her to stop caring about her job and she had fallen behind on processing mammogram films. She had used a physician’s name to falsify the clean paperwork but hospital staff became suspicious when his name was used on days he was not at work.
Rapraeger was discovered, confessed, and fired a week later.
When asked about the lenient sentence, District Attorney George Hartwig says “Given the entirety of the case and the issues that were there, I really feel like we did the best we could do to get a measure of justice for these women.”