Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Jail time for Seiler doubtful

The chances UW sophomore Audrey Seiler will face the maximum

punishment for faking her abduction earlier this month is unlikely.

An out-of-court agreement will likely be reached before a formal


trial begins.

District Attorney Brian Blanchard charged Seiler Wednesday with

two misdemeanors for lying to police about her abduction. The

maximum penalty Seiler could receive is nine months in jail and a

$10,000 fine for each misdemeanor.

A not-guilty plea was entered Thursday on Seiler’s behalf by her

lawyers Randy Hopper, a prestigious Minneapolis-based attorney the

Seiler family hired to defend their daughter.

Seiler was not required to attend the hearing and is free on

signature bond. However, Seiler will eventually have to appear in

court for sentencing.

City Council president Mike Verveer said an agreement would most

likely be made outside of court, as is the situation with most

cases that pass through the Dane County court system.

“The vast majority of criminal cases in Dane County are settled

in advance to a trial,” he said. “It is not uncommon for many weeks

to go by without any criminal trials taking place in the Dane

County court.”

Verveer said if charged, Seiler could enter the county’s first

offenders program since she has a clean record. The most common

punishments for those in the program are restitution. Seiler could

have to perform community service and may receive probation as

well. Jail time, although unlikely, is also a possibility.

Seiler is charged once for lying to police who responded to a

call March 31, 2004, from a Department of Revenue employee who

reportedly saw her lying in the fetal position on a path near the

Alliant Energy Center.

A manhunt with 150 officers, police dogs and aircraft were then

sent out to search for the man Seiler said abducted her at

knifepoint from her Regent Apartment.

Seiler was charged for the second misdemeanor for lying to

police the next day in an extensive interview, where she retracted

her statement that someone came to her room and took her at

knifepoint. She continued to tell police, however, that she was

abducted while in the marsh.

She later admitted it was all a hoax.

The 15-page criminal complaint also said Seiler lied to police

Feb. 1, when she said she was hit in the head from behind and left

unconscious behind a building on Bowen Court. She was not charged

with obstruction for the Feb. 1 instance.

Seiler acted out on both occasions to get the attention of her

boyfriend, UW freshman Ryan Fisher. According to the complaint,

Seiler accessed Fisher’s e-mail account and found romantic e-mails

from his ex-girlfriend from Rockford, Minn., where both Seiler and

Fisher are from.

In a journal entry dated just before her disappearance, Seiler

wrote, “I love him with all my heart, but I know he needs to love

me back. I won’t be well for a while. I know that. I’ve got to go,

maybe to pray, mostly for my well being.”

The complaint states Seiler accessed her boyfriend’s e-mail

account and searched the Internet for wooded areas in Madison while

she was reported as missing. When Seiler was found, police noted

her clothes were clean, her nails freshly painted and she was dry

despite a recent rainfall.

Students said Thursday they were tired of hearing about the


“We have all moved beyond the Audrey case,” UW sophomore Brigid

Harvey said. “Enough is enough.”


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