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Stark County mother accused of faking daughter's life-threatening illness sentenced to prison

Lindsey Abbuhl's attorney says the case was 'hard to prove.'

STARK COUNTY, Ohio — On Lindsey Abbuhl's Facebook page, fundraiser flyers remain posted, asking for money for her 11-year-old daughter Rylee.

But, in May of 2021, that all came to an end, when she was accused of faking her daughter's terminal illness, and taking thousands from the community.

On Thursday, in a plea deal with the Stark County Prosecutor's Office, Abbuhl pleaded guilty to one count of child endangering and one count of theft.

She was sentenced to four to six years in prison and ordered to pay $8,529.90 in restitution to her theft victims. However, she will be released after only six months if she meets certain behavioral standards.

"Essentially, this plea was a way to bring closure to the several parties involved in this case," said Stark County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle. L. Stone, in a press release. "This was also the best way to avoid the possibility of further traumatizing a child that has already been through so much."

On Friday, Abbuhl's attorney, Paul Kelly, released a statement on her behalf:

"It’s very important to understand here that this child did have diagnosed medical maladies including a lesion on her brain. This is fact and the records exist to prove it. Now because the ailments were determined to be not as severe or fatal as perhaps mom had at times represented, we opted to forgo the possible risk of a trial loss which could have yielded an 18-year prison sentence if the state achieved the maximum for what convictions they were seeking had a deal not been reached. Is this a case of merely an overly paranoid, genuinely concerned mother or someone who genuinely tried to profit from dishonesty? Only mother will every truly know the answer to this and because both arguments were hard to prove with any certainty, this deal was reached as compromise so that mom will be free after serving six months in prison provided she comports with prison behavioral guidelines."

Abbuhl will begin serving her sentence at the Stark County Jail in early January.

Kelly tells us Rylee is "doing well" and living with her dad.

Editor's Note: The following video is from a previous, unrelated report.


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