PORT HURON (WWJ/AP) – A St. Clair County judge has scheduled a Dec. 3 trial start for a woman who accused of defrauding people of money by pretending to have cancer.
Thirty-eight-year-old Sara Ylen of Lexington is charged with false pretenses, fraud and using a computer to commit a crime.
State police say Ylen created documents to show she was a patient at University of Michigan cancer center in Ann Arbor and Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, Ill. Both hospitals say she never was treated there. Authorities say she received $100,000 in hospice care over two years.
Circuit Judge Daniel Kelly pushed the trial’s start back into December at the request of prosecutors, who say that will accommodate the needs of witnesses coming from California. One of the witnesses apparently found an X-ray online, similar to an X-ray that Ylen had displayed as proof of her multiple myeloma, known as cancer in bone marrow.
Authorities say it’s not clear what Ylen’s motive would have been. Money raised through community fundraisers helped her with rent and other expenses, but there’s no evidence of extravagant living.
This case is not the first time Ylen’s credibility has been challenged. In a separate case in a neighboring county, she is awaiting trial on a charge of making a false report of rape against two men.
Ylen has been in the public eye for more than a decade in the Port Huron area, 60 miles northeast of Detroit. She agreed to be interviewed and have her name published in an award-winning series in the Port Huron Times Herald after a man was convicted of raping her in a very busy parking lot during daylight in 2001.
But that man, James Grissom, was released from prison last year after nearly 10 years. New evidence emerged that Ylen had made false rape allegations in California in 2001, information that Grissom’s attorney could have used at trial if it had been available.
A psychologist, Daniel Kachman, evaluated Ylen as part of her divorce case and found she sometimes takes on “the role of martyr.”
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