Student accused of faking cancer will appear on national TV

Victoria Marut is charged with felony stealing by deceit.

A northeast Missouri student who was charged with a felony after pretending that she had cancer is going on the Dr. Phil show.

Victoria "Tory" Marut, 22, of Kirksville pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Marut's lawyer, Benjamin Gray, said several media outlets contacted them about doing a show, but because of Dr. Philâ??s background as a psychologist Marut decided Dr. Philâ??s show was a good one to go on.

He said usually he would not have considered taken a defendant on a TV show.

â??In probably 99 percent of the cases I handle I would never consider doing something like this,â?? Gray said. â??But, because of the unique circumstances involved with this case and the fact that normally when something like this happens people I think want to know why she would do something like this and usually in most cases that I handle you don't ask why somebody did what they did because people sometimes do dumb things; but with this particular case we think there is probably something more going on that she needs to address with regard to her mental health.â??

Gray said at the time when Dr. Phil producers called Marut had been seeking help.

â??(Marut) had been trying to get in to see some mental health professionals and hasn't been able to do it,â?? Gray said. â??So, weâ??re hoping that ... the fact that (the show) has been fairly generous in the past with other people whoâ??ve needed psychological help, evaluation and treatment, weâ??re hoping maybe he can help Victoria.â??

Gray said he doesn't believe going on the show will hurt his defense.

â??In this case for a lot of reasons ... we don't believe it's going to hurt the case, or hurt the defense,â?? Gray said. â??This is a decision I did not take lightly. I had to think about all of the ethical implications of it, and I spoke with Victoria and her family, and we think that under the circumstances because this is something that is so bizarre and unusual that going on TV and exploring maybe we can find out a way to help her with some of the mental issues that she faces.â??

Marut, a Truman University student, was doing her internship at Kirksville Primary School last fall when officials allege she pretended to have terminal cancer and told teachers and staff she was undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

According to court papers, officials were able to confirm that Marut was not in treatment for cancer and had submitted forged documentation of a cancer diagnosis.

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