Rachael Mattice pleads in case

Rachael Mattice

MAYFIELD — A Johnstown woman has pleaded guilty to falsely reporting being abducted almost a year ago and held by a man, and is looking to move beyond this matter, according to her attorney.

According to a court official, Rachael Lynn Mattice, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor, in town court on Tuesday, just two days shy of one year ago when she was reported as missing by her family.

She has been sentenced to a month of weekends in jail, three years’ probation and 100 hours of community service.

According to a court official, the court added another term for Mattice to “continue her drug and alcohol evaluation.”

Fulton County District Attorney Chad Brown said this morning this wasn’t a plea agreement.

“We said plead guilty or have a trial,” Brown said.

Mattice’s attorney, Robert Abdella of Gloversville, said this morning that they considered all of the options including a trial, and were headed in that direction.

“Rachael chose to [take] the plea, rather than face…what we anticipated to be the amount of media attention surrounding the trial. Rather than going through what she went through last summer, she wanted to put it behind her,” Abdella said.

Abdella said Mattice will begin serving her weekends in jail starting today. He said Mattice is doing okay at this point and her family is supportive of their daughter and are happy to have her.

“They stood right behind her. They are more worried about their daughter than they are themselves,” Abdella said.

Mattice was reported missing on June 22, 2016 when her family said they went to their camp near West River Road in the town of Wells where she had been staying. The family said they found her vehicle and personal items left at the camp, but she was not there.

During this time, dozens of state police, volunteers and family members searched for Mattice around Hamilton County. Vigils were held and police followed up on more than 400 leads and investigated reported sightings as far away as South Carolina.

Police said the search for Mattice cost well over six figures and involved hundreds of man hours.

Country singing superstar Shania Twain even got involved, tweeting out information about Mattice after she learned of the case.

Mattice reappeared two weeks later at around midnight on July 6 at her mother’s home, claiming she had been held against her will in a shed by a bearded man in his 50s or 60s, only to be released two blocks from her residence by her alleged captor.

On July 24, state police announced they had charged Mattice with third-degree filing a false report, a misdemeanor, stating that her allegations of being held against her will for two weeks by a bearded, white-haired man and repeatedly assaulted were false.

State police said Mattice was likely at a camp belonging to a relative’s boyfriend. She had been reportedly seen around the area during the time she told police she was being held. One witness reported he had driven Mattice to a Canada Lake cabin.

Brown said Mattice gave no indication during her plea why she made these statements to police.

“It cost a lot of time and effort that the police put in looking for,” Brown said.

Abdella said the plea also wrapped up cases in the town of Hope and Saratoga County.

On Aug. 5, Mattice was charged with petit larceny for allegedly taking medication from a home she was working at in the Hamilton County town of Hope.

On Oct. 6 she was in a two-vehicle head-on crash, according to state police, in Saratoga County. She was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance in a non-original container, two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, failure to keep right and moving from lane unsafely.

Brown said his office is satisfied that Mattice plead guilty.

“She admitted her responsibility for stretching a lot of resources for a two week period, at least. We are glad that she plead guilty and took ownership of what she did,” Brown said.

“She plead to the charges and that is all we could ask for,” said Fulton County First Assistant District Attorney Amanda Nellis.

Abdella said Mattice elected to put the cases behind her and avoid the media attention of a trial. Abdella said he hopes members of the public will move on well and not do things that had done last year, such as dressing up as her for Halloween.

“She looks forward to moving on with her life and hopefully the public will do that too,” Abdella said. “You can imagine why she doesn’t want to revisit that and that is why this is the option she chose.”

Michael Anich contributed to this story.

By Patricia Older

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