Jennifer Dempsey is accused of several counts of sex with minors and pleaded not guilty Monday. (Source: Phoenix Police Department)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A woman who portrayed herself online as a 16-year-old girl who was pregnant on Monday pleaded not guilty to having sex with teenage boys.
Jennifer Dempsey, 35, is accused of contacting 14-year-old to 16-year-old boys she did not know through Facebook and then meeting them for sex acts, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said.
Dempsey told both victims she was pregnant and attended a meeting with one of the victim's parents, Crump said.
Crump also said for the past five years, Dempsey convinced her family she had cancer. She shaved her head, bought wigs and had a fake chemotherapy port taped to her chest to make it appear real, Crump said.
Police detectives discovered Dempsey did not have cancer, but used the claim to help avoid arrest.
"She used her cancer ploy to our detectives to try and stay out of trouble," said Crump. "She said this 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."
During the investigation, police said they recovered incriminating text messages that led to her arrest. Dempsey admitted she had sex with the older victim, but denied sexual activity with the younger boy, although she did make statements that corroborate the charges, Crump added.
Police served a search warrant on her home, which produced several pieces of evidence.
Crump said the police investigation started after the parents of one of the teenagers came forward.
According to police, the parents had met Dempsey and didn't believe she was 16-years-old. The parents also found nude photos being exchanged with their son, police said.
Dempsey was booked into jail on several counts of sexual conduct with a minor.
People with information related to the case are asked to contact the Phoenix Police Department's Family Investigation Bureau at 602-534-2121 or Silent Witness.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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