Sweeten's father attacks photographer

August 27, 2009 3:32:12 PM PDT
The father of the woman at the center of an infamous abduction hoax case attacked a news photographer Thursday afternoon shortly after her sentencing. RELATED: Watch video of the attack

William Siner, the father of Bonnie Sweeten, came toward a group of photographers and reporters shortly after she pleaded guilty and was sentenced.

At first he shoved one photographer, then turned on another, attacking him. Another photographer came to his aid, and held him until officials arrived.

Siner was taken away. There is no word yet on if he'll be charged.

Earlier in the day Sweeten, accused of faking her own abduction after she disappeared with her 9-year-old daughter in May, pleaded guilty to a pair of misdemeanors.

Sweeten, 38, pleaded guilty Thursday to identity theft and making false reports to police in Bucks County Court.

She was sentenced to nine to 24 months in prison.

At sentencing, Bucks County Judge Jeffrey Finley called Sweeten a manipulative, cold-hearted woman who made her daughter a pawn as she attempted to flee a criminal probe.

In court Sweeten apologized to her daughter, her family, friends and to the law enforcement for sending them on a wild goose chase.

Authorities say the mother of three called 911 on May 26th and said she and her daughter had been abducted by two black men at the intersection of Street Road and Central Avenue in Upper Southampton Township, Bucks County.

Prosecutors say she instead used a former co-worker's driver's license to fly to Florida and check into a hotel at Walt Disney World.

Through tears Sweeten said she was sorry to the black community for perpetuating what she called an ugly myth and stereotype.

She went on to say "I let my life slip out of control and did not have the proper mechanism or coping tools. With the last several months of counseling and self reflection I can guarantee my life will never again get out of control."

Sweeten is also the focus of a federal theft investigation. Authorities are looking into reports that she may have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from her own family and the law firm where she worked.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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