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Rapraeger sentenced to probation for mishandling mammograms at Perry Hospital

Rachael Rapraeger, a former radiology technician, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of reckless conduct, and one count of computer forgery for incorrectly reporting mammograms for 10 patients at Perry Hospital.
PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- A former radiology technician was sentenced to serve 10 years probation, and serve up to six months of that time at a probation detention facility.

Rachael Rapraeger pleaded guilty in court Houston County Superior Court Tuesday, to 10 counts of reckless conduct, and one count of computer forgery. She is accused of reporting nearly 1300 mammogram results at Perry Hospital as negative, without a doctor reviewing the results. 10 of those were false negatives. She's also facing at $12,500 fine and she can never work in a health-related position again.

"I think it's a fair sentence, based on what happened, and based on her cooperation in this case," said Daniel Bibler, Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney, Houston County.

Judge Katherine Lumsden had some powerful words for Rapraeger Tuesday. She told the former technician she played "Russian roulette" with more than a thousand people's lives.

"There is no sentence ladies, that I can impose that will make this okay," said Lumsden to several of the victims.

Rapraeger, who sat silent and mostly still in court on Tuesday, was indicted in 2010 for 10 counts of forgery, and 10 counts of reckless conduct.

The charges represent 10 women who were diagnosed with cancer after Rapraeger forged a doctor's name on their mammograms, which she reported as negative.

In court Tuesday, Rapraeger's attorney, Floyd Buford said she was overwhelmed, overworked and dealing with personal issues when she began entering negative results. Buford also added, she had access to the radiologist's pin number to enter the results in the database.

Buford also said Perry Hospital allegedly destroyed Rapraeger's hard drive and computer. He added, 9 of the 10 mammograms he had reviewed did not have the original film with them. Buford cited those as reasons why this case would have been complex had it gone to trial.

"It made it very, very difficult for us to prepare defense for her because we did not have the ability to look at those," said Buford.

Sharon Holmes, one of the women who was diagnosed with cancer after a false negative mammogram, sat in the front row and laid eyes on the former technician for the first time. She told 41NBC there is no excuse for what Rapraeger did.

"You see it piling up, you see it getting behind, you should go and ask for help, that's why I got up today to let her know, I'm not a name on a piece of paper. I'm a person, and I think she will remember me, and that's my biggest thing. I wanted her to know how she have hurt me and my family by the decision she made," said Holmes.

Holmes was diagnosed after she found a lump in her left breast in February 2010, after a false negative from Perry Hospital in late 2009. She has been in remission since March, 2010.

Rapraeger is ordered to turn herself in on Thursday morning.



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