Jennifer Dempsey, 35, allegedly told cops she couldn't have had sex with underage boys -- she was much too ill from the chemotherapy she was undergoing to treat her cancer.
It would be a decent alibi, for someone who actually has cancer.
Phoenix police say that Dempsey not only posed as a 16-year-old girl on Facebook to lure two boys -- aged 14 and 16 -- into sex acts, but that she also faked having cancer for the last five years, going so far as to shave her head and tape a fake chemotherapy port to her chest, CBS 5 reports.
Her family and neighbors all believed the act. "She wore a tube all the time," Carolyn Chavez, office manager at Dempsey's condominium complex, told the station. "We've had other residents with cancer and I thought she fit the profile."
When Dempsey found herself under investigation for allegedly having sex with minors, she attempted to use the cancer ruse to her advantage, police said.
"She said [cancer] is the reason why she didn't engage in the sexual conduct -- because she was constantly ill from chemotherapy, all of which we learned in the following days, was not true," Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump told CBS 5.
Dempsey also allegedly faked being pregnant, telling both of her victims that she was with child.
Crump told My Fox Phoenix that Dempsey met up with the parents of one of her underage victims and claimed she was his 16-year-old girlfriend.
"[The case was brought to us] after the parents had ended up meeting this supposed girlfriend. They didn't believe she was as young as she was portraying to their son," Crump said.
Police say they found multiple cell phones in Dempsey's home containing incriminating text messages sent to the victims. She was taken into custody on charges of sexual conduct with a minor.
People fake cancer for all sorts of reasons. In April, 25-year-old Jessica Vega was charged with fraud and grand larceny after faking leukemia to get a free "dream wedding."
In 2011, Virginia woman Martha Nichols was arrested after allegedly pretending to have ovarian cancer in order to obtain money from charitable donors.
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