Federal prosecutors said Papini should be sentenced to eight months in prison for carefully faking her own kidnapping.

SACRAMENTO, CA. A Northern California mother of two was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison for faking her own kidnapping so she could get back with her ex-boyfriend, leading to a three-week, multi-state manhunt before she resurfaced on Thanksgiving Day 2016 .

Sherry Papini, 40, pleaded guilty last spring in a plea deal that requires her to pay more than $300,000 in restitution.

RELATED: Sherry Papini pleads guilty in kidnapping case

Probation officers and Papini’s attorney recommended she spend a month in custody and seven months in supervised home detention. But Senior U.S. District Judge William Shabb said he chose the 18-month term to deter others.

The judge said he took into account the seriousness of the offense and the “large number of people who were affected”.

Papini, who was emotional throughout the proceedings, quietly replied, “Yes, sir,” when the judge asked if she understood the sentence. Earlier, she tearfully gave a statement in court in which she took responsibility and admitted her guilt.

“As painful as it is,” Papini accepts the sentence as part of his recovery, attorney William Portonova said after the hearing.

Earlier, Portonova said that Papini was experiencing problems and shame and that she should serve most of her sentence at home. Prosecutors, however, said she should spend the entire term in prison. A judge ordered her to report to jail on November 8.

“The hoax involving Papini’s kidnapping was deliberate, well-planned and sophisticated,” prosecutors wrote in their court filing. And she was still falsely telling people she had been kidnapped, months after she pleaded guilty in April to masterminding the kidnapping and lying to the FBI about it, they wrote.

“The nation is watching the outcome of Papini’s sentencing hearing,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Veronica Alegria and Shelley Wager wrote. “The public needs to know that there is more to law enforcement than a slap on the wrist for committing financial fraud and making false statements, especially when those false statements cost significant resources and implicate innocent people.”

“Outwardly sweet and loving, but capable of intense deception … Ms. Papini’s chameleon-like nature made her long for the security of her family and the freedom of her youth at the same time,” Portonova wrote in his response to the court.

So, “pursuing a senseless fantasy,” Portonova said, the married mother fled to her ex-boyfriend in Southern California, nearly 600 miles (966 kilometers) south of her Redding home. He dropped her off along Interstate 5 about 150 miles (240 kilometers) from her home after she said she wanted to go home.

Passers-by found her with bandages on her body, a swollen nose, a blurred “bull” on her right shoulder, bruises and a rash all over her body, ligaments on her wrists and ankles, and burns on her left forearm. All of the injuries were self-inflicted and were designed to corroborate her story of being kidnapped at gunpoint by two Hispanic women while she was jogging.

RELATED: Sherry Papini’s husband files for divorce after traumatized by her disappearance

The wounds were a manifestation of her “unresolved masochism” and “self-inflicted repentance,” Portanova wrote. And once she started, “every lie demanded another lie.”

Prosecutors said Papini’s ruse hurt more than just herself and her family. “The entire community believed the hoax and lived in fear that Hispanic women were roaming the streets to kidnap and sell women,” they wrote.

Prosecutors agreed to seek a sentence at the low end of the sentencing range in exchange for Papini’s guilty plea. It is expected to be eight to 14 months in prison, compared to a maximum of 25 years on the two charges.

She offered no justification for her actions, which baffled even independent mental health experts who said her actions did not fit a typical diagnosis.

“Papini’s painful early years twisted and froze her in many ways,” Portonova said, advocating house arrest. After her deception was finally revealed, he said: “It’s hard to imagine a more brutal public exposure of a person’s broken inner self. At the moment, the punishment is already harsh and similar to life imprisonment.”

But prosecutors said her “past trauma and mental health issues cannot account for all of her actions.”

“Papini’s planning for her fake abduction was meticulous and began months in advance — it was not simply a reaction to a traumatic childhood,” they wrote.

Since her arrest in March, Papini has received more than $30,000 in psychiatric care for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She billed the state’s victims’ compensation fund for the treatment and now has to pay it back as part of the compensation.

As part of the plea deal, she agreed to reimburse law enforcement more than $150,000 for the cost of finding her and her non-existent kidnappers, and to return $128,000 she received in disability benefits upon her return.

WATCH ON ABC10: Sherry Papini has formally pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and mail box fraud

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