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FAIRFAX, Va. — A Virginia jury has chipped in to pay the fine of a maid it convicted of stealing three rings from a house she was cleaning.

Jury foreman Jeffery Memmott tells The Washington Post that he gave 19-year-old mother of two Sandra Mendez Ortega $80 the jury collected after it convicted her of felony grand larceny. The trial was in July. Sentencing was Dec. 8 in a Fairfax County court.

The jury fined Mendez Ortega $60, her daily pay as a maid. Memmott says "the general sentiment was she was a victim, too," and had made a youthful mistake.

The case began when Lisa Copeland discovered her rings, worth at least $5,000, missing in September 2016. Copeland says she was outraged, and "I didn't think $60 equated to the crime at all."

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  • gagewatcher
    December 15, 2017 at 4:25 p.m.

    so the maid didn't know she shouldn't take things that were not hers ?

    December 15, 2017 at 5:41 p.m.

    Lots of People make Mistakes when the Temptation is Presented to them, This will hopefully have a great influence on this Person's life and help others Resist the Temptations.

  • ERich2017
    December 15, 2017 at 10:18 p.m.

    Did she return the rings, I assume she did. So, I am confused by the victim’s comment, “I didn’t think $60 equates to the crime at all.” Being a convicted felon will follow her the rest of her life. It will cost her much more the $5,000 to overcome the stigma alone, and it will automatically prevent her from certain job opportunities, etc.