Melissa Jones the Canandaigua woman charged with faking breast cancer and collecting thousands in donations says she believed she had cancer and did undergo chemotherapy.
Her new attorney Kevin McKain read a statement from her in Ontario County Court today in which she said “I did believe that I was diagnosed with cancer,”... . “Apparently that diagnosis has been found to be incorrect....." "I also have never pretended to have cancer " She says she had two rounds of chemo. McKain told the judge today that he is seeking a change of venue .
Jones has until the 19th to accept a previous plea deal with a sentece of 1 to 5 years. If she goes to court in January and is convicted she could get 10 to 20 years in prison
THE MCKAIN LAW FIRM E-MAILED US A COPY OF JONES' FULL STATEMENT THIS AFTERNOON. YOU WILL FIND IT BELOW .
For over a year now, I have stood accused of the very heinous act of pretending to suffer from the terrible disease of cancer. During this time, I have watched and listened while people, including public officials and members of the media, have cast judgment on me and my family. I’ve been called an insult to cancer survivors and “deserving of the maximum sentence allowable under law. My actions have been described as a “travesty” by Canandaigua Police Chief Jon Welch. District Attorney Michael Tantillo has told reporters that “there is no reason to believe” I had cancer. The Kimberly & Beck Radio Show refers to me as the “Scam Lady” and a “Scam Artist, in addition to giving out my home address to its listeners. Ultimately, due to constant scrutiny and harassment, my husband and I were forced to move from our home.
By making this statement today, it is my sincere hope that further judgment will be withheld until I am given the opportunity to defend myself before a jury of my peers. I have always understood that all defendants were presumed innocent until proven guilty. I ask only that I be afforded the same presumption.
God willing, and with the able assistance of my attorney, Kevin McKain, and the continued support of family and friends whom have stuck by my side throughout this nightmare, I will not only be found not guilty, but innocent.
In the meantime, while I cannot possibly respond to every accusation, rumor and speculation surrounding this case, I offer the following:
1. I do not have cancer;
2. I also have never pretended to have cancer. The wonderful and generous outpouring of support I received was the result of an honest and reasonable belief that I had a rare form of breast cancer called Inflamatory Breast Cancer or IBC.
3. My belief that I had IBC was the result of the presence of symptoms commonly associated with IBC and communications with medical personnel.
4. I did not seek to obtain benefits, including donations, as the result of my apparent diagnoses, nor did I ask anyone to hold fund raisers on my behalf.
5. Contrary to media reports, law enforcement did not recover $20,000 from me. The proceeds in question were recovered from an unrelated third-party whom coordinated a fundraiser. I never received those proceeds.
6. The $20,000 that was posted for bail in this matter was obtained from family.
7. My husband and I have not separated or divorced, and my husband remains my biggest supporter.
8. I underwent two rounds of chemo therapy. As a result, I lost most of my hair and ultimately was forced to cut it short to mask the loss. I did not shave my head as part of any scheme to simulate suffering from cancer
At the advice of my attorney, I will not personally make any further statements regarding this matter until after trial. I look forward to my day in court and would ask that you respect the rights of myself and my family until the conclusion of this case. For those family members and friends whom have remained on my side, I thank you. Any further questions should be directed to my attorney, Kevin McKain.