BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Police in Bardstown are accusing a mother of an unspeakable crime. They claim 39-year-old Nancye Beth Avis lied about her son having cancer and then used the money that was raised for him on other things.
While many people are outraged about the alleged crime, Avis said people aren't hearing the truth. "Everybody doesn't know the whole story," she said Thursday night. "There's two sides to every story and this is a nasty, nasty divorce!"
The St. Joseph School parent said she is angry over the charges of theft by deception under $10,000 and endangering the welfare of a minor she's now accused of.
Bardstown police said their investigation revealed Avis lied to the school and several organizations telling them her 12-year-old son had cancer.
Investigators said the boy doesn't have cancer now and never did, but the St. Joseph School and groups like the Boy Scouts in Bardstown held fundraisers to help the family over the last couple of years.
And that's the story that has parents around Bardstown fuming.
"She basically stole people's money and emotions really," said Bardstown resident Kenneth Vidt.
Allison Hahn agreed. "Personally, my family has been affected with cancer and knowing the struggles families go through financially and emotionally," she said. "To understand that someone is preying upon others emotions with that, it's very troubling."
John Leslie, who has four boys of his own, said, "When it's a real situation, you want to get behind that situation and you want to help the people that need help, but when you're hearing about a situation like this, it really takes away from the ability or the willingness of other people to try to help."
But Avis said her son has been sick, although she would not go into detail about his illness. Avis said, "They don't know the whole situation and they should not judge unless they know the whole story."
She also claimed her ex-husband and her recent divorce is a big reason why she's been cited by police and he hasn't been. She said it's also why Child Protective Services are involved in the investigation. She said her ex-husband was involved in everything she's accused of.
There are numerous court records showing a pattern of domestic trouble between Avis and her ex-husband. There are also records indicating some financial problems including a home foreclosure a couple of years ago.
Avis has not been arrested, she's only cited for now. She will have to appear in court on the charges.