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Man gets nearly 3 years for phony abuse claims

PORTLAND, Ore. — A bank robber who made phony claims of child sex abuse by
priests in four states in an unsuccessful effort to get money has been sentenced
to nearly three years in prison for mail fraud.

The U.S. attorney’s office says 50-year-old Shamont Sapp was given a 33-month
sentence Wednesday in Portland by U.S. District Judge Anna Brown.

The former Pennsylvania resident pleaded guilty to pursuing phony cases against
Roman Catholic dioceses in Portland; Tucson, Arizona; Covington, Kentucky; and
Spokane, Washington, from 2005 through 2010. Federal prosecutors say he filed
the fraudulent claims while he was a federal prison inmate serving lengthy
sentences for 10 Pennsylvania bank robberies he committed in 1995.

In each, he claimed he had been sexually abused as a teenage runaway in
1978-79. Disproving the claims required extensive investigative and legal work.
The U.S. attorney’s office says the Archdiocese of Portland spent $70,000
disproving Sapp’s allegations.

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