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Federal Way woman charged in fake pregnancy plot

King County prosecutors say a Federal Way woman faked she was pregnant and took $3,500 in child support from a man she deceived into thinking he was the father.

Carmen L. Johnsen, 31, has been charged with theft, perjury in the first degree and forgery. Johnsen also claimed she miscarried and printed a fake death notice, according to charging papers.

In December 2008, Johnsen told the man she was pregnant with his child. The next month, Johnsen took two pregnancy tests at St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way that were negative, court documents state.

Knowing she wasn’t pregnant, Johnsen told the man that she had a history of high-risk pregnancies and miscarriages and that she needed to be on bed rest, Federal Way police reported. Believing Johnsen was pregnant with his child, the man wrote five $700 checks to Johnsen for child support between February 2009 and June 2009. She cashed each one, prosecutors say.

When the man saw that Johnsen did not appear pregnant in July 2009, he said he confronted her and threatened to report her to police.

Johnsen filed for a protection order against the man and perjured herself four times in Pierce County Superior Court, claiming she had been pregnant, prosecutors say.

She also allegedly tried to pressure the man into paying half of her medical bills, totaling $9,601.81.

Police report that Johnsen admitted upon questioning that she was not pregnant when the man paid her the child support. She told police a later pregnancy test was positive and that she had miscarried. Police said St. Joseph Medical Center records showed she was not pregnant.

As part of the deception, Johnsen named what she said was her baby and published a fictitious death announcement – “In Loving memory of Rebekah Lynn Johnsen” – in a newsletter for a bottle collectors club for which she served as president, according to court documents.

She also requested a funeral service from a pastor at a Federal Way church, claiming she had lost her baby as a result of a car accident and that she had the body cremated, the documents state.

Johnsen, who is out of custody, will be arraigned Thursday at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Steve Maynard: 253-597-8647 steve.maynard@thenewstribune.com

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