Jury Quickly Convicts Woman in False Rape Trial

A Michigan woman accused of lying for years about having cancer was convicted Thursday in a separate case of falsely accusing two men of rape.

The jury took less than 30 minutes to convict Sara Ylen after a three-day trial in St. Clair County, 60 miles northeast of Detroit.

Ylen was charged with making up a story of two men attacking her in her Lexington home in 2012. Ylen, 38, was also convicted of tampering with evidence after police said she used makeup to create what looked like bruises. She did not testify in her own defense.

Ylen's story resembled a "cheap novel," prosecutor Suzette Samuels told jurors.

"She's lying through her teeth. ... This was unreal," Samuels said.

In final remarks, defense attorney David Heyboer said police did not follow up on other leads and didn't go to Ylen's house for a close examination of what took place.

Judge Daniel Kelly revoked Ylen's bond and sent her to jail to await sentencing on Jan. 17.

Her legal problems, however, are far from over.

Ylen faces trial on Feb. 4 in neighboring Sanilac County, where she's charged with fraud and false pretenses for claiming she had cancer.

Ylen received months of hospice care and thousands of dollars from sympathetic supporters, but there's no evidence that she had cancer, according to the state police.

She claimed she was a patient at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, Ill., but the hospital said Ylen never was treated there. During pre-trial hearings, prosecutors disclosed forged documents with University of Michigan medical center letterhead.

The criminal cases have stunned people here in the eastern Michigan area known as the Thumb. Ylen is well-known locally after talking to the Port Huron Times Herald years ago for a series of stories about being a rape victim. She said she was attacked in daylight in the parking lot of a Meijer store, a major retailer.

The man she accused, James Grissom, insisted he was innocent. He served about a decade in prison before his 2003 conviction was overturned last year based on new evidence about Ylen's credibility.

Grissom was a spectator this week during Ylen's false rape trial.

"Strange. The last time I was coming down to this courtroom I had handcuffs on," Grissom told the Times Herald. "I figured I had to be here, just to see what she gets away with and what she don't."

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