DETROIT — A Michigan woman who appealed for money to fight her cancer was charged Monday with fraud, just a few days after she was accused in another case of falsely reporting a rape and using makeup to show injuries.
Besides two criminal cases filed against Sara Ylen in less than a week, she also was involved in the prosecution of James Grissom, who was released from prison last fall after nearly 10 years.
Despite no physical evidence, Grissom was found guilty of raping Ylen in 2001 in a parking lot. A judge threw out the conviction after authorities learned she had made up sexual-assault allegations in California, information that wasn’t available to the defense at trial.
Ylen, 38, of Lexington, appeared in a Sanilac County court Monday, 90 miles northeast of Detroit. She was charged with six crimes, all related to her claim of cancer, said chief assistant prosecutor Brenda Sanford. Most charges are related to false insurance claims, although one involves raising more than $1,000 from the public.
“Based on a very thorough investigation by the state police, they have not been able to corroborate her claim that she had cancer,” Sanford said. “This has been a very long and complicated investigation.”
Ylen couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, and it wasn’t known if she has an attorney yet.
In neighboring St. Clair County, she was charged last week with making a false report of rape in September and tampering with evidence. Investigators said Ylen’s alleged bruises were created with makeup.
The Associated Press doesn’t name people who say they’ve been victims of sexual assault. But Ylen talked freely to the Port Huron Times Herald about the Grissom case, saying she wanted to speak publicly about her ordeal. That was in 2003, years before he was released from prison.
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