Former central Pa. domestic counselor sentenced on conviction of faking kidnap to cover affair


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BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania — A woman who provided court-ordered domestic counseling services in central Pennsylvania has been sentenced to 30 days to 18 months after pleading no-contest to charges that she falsely reported having been abducted and sexually assaulted by a client.

Cindy Brumbaugh, 51, was also fined $2,500 Thursday in Centre County, the Centre Daily Times ( ) reported.

Prosecutors said Brumbaugh, of Howard, began an affair with a man who had been ordered to obtain counseling, but the affair came to light when both were involved in a car crash during a tryst. Brumbaugh then alleged the man had forced her to accompany him, but investigators said text messages proved otherwise.

Brumbaugh originally pleaded no-contest to the charges in March but withdrew the plea before sentencing. She entered the plea again last month after a jury had been seated for her trial.

District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said Brumbaugh had shown no remorse, and an innocent man would be facing a lengthy incarceration if not for the text messages.

"She was well-versed in knowing if she made the first allegations, she would be believed," she said.

Defense attorney Stephanie Cooper sought probation for her client, saying she has been a benefit to the county and has helped others in her role as a counselor.

Brumbaugh said she has been "absolutely humiliated" by the events and had felt threatened and overwhelmed.

"Ultimately, I know I have to answer to the court and to my God," she said.

Potter County Judge John Leete said Brumbaugh hadn't accepted what he called "a lick of responsibility" for her actions, and therefore would receive no special treatment.

"You convinced the court there was no other choice," he said.

Parks Miller said in a statement that she was pleased that the court "saw this for exactly what it was."

"She was willing to burn 30 years of (the man's) life in a maniacal effort to put out the fire she set in her own," the prosecutor said.

Information from: Centre Daily Times,

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