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Calif. prison psychologist accused of faking her own rape

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- She split her own lip with a pin, scraped her knuckles with sandpaper and had her friend punch her in the face. Investigators say she even ripped open her blouse, then wet her pants to give the appearance she had been knocked unconscious.

It was all part of what authorities said Friday was an elaborate hoax by the woman to convince her husband she was raped so he would want to move to a safer area.

Charges filed by the Sacramento County district attorney allege Laurie Ann Martinez, a prison psychologist, conspired with the friend to create the appearance that she was beaten, robbed and raped by a stranger in April in her Sacramento home.

Martinez, her friend and two co-workers eventually told police the whole thing was a setup to convince Martinez's husband that they needed to move from a blighted, high-crime area three miles north of the state capital.

It didn't work. Instead, the couple filed for divorce six weeks after the April 10 incident, according to court records.

Martinez, 36, a psychologist for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, reported she had come home that day to find a stranger in her kitchen, authorities said.

"As she tried to run away, the suspect grabbed her and hit her in the face," court records say in describing what she told police. "She lost consciousness and then when she awoke she found her pants and underwear pulled down to her ankles."

Missing from her home were two laptop computers, Martinez's purse, an Xbox video game console, a camera and numerous credit cards that Martinez said the stranger had stolen.

In reality, the items were all at the home of her friend, Nicole April Snyder, authorities allege.

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