Woman Who Robbed Banks While 8 Months Pregnant Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison

Lisa Harding
Dane County Jail

Lisa Harding, 32, pleaded guilty Friday to robbing two banks in December 2016 as part of a plea agreement that saw a charge related to a third heist dismissed.

A Wisconsin woman who admitted to robbing banks while more than eight months pregnant has been sentenced to four years in prison after she was deemed a public safety threat, officials said.

Lisa Harding, 32, pleaded guilty on Friday to robbing two banks in December 2016 as part of a plea agreement that saw a charge related to a third heist dismissed, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Harding first robbed an Associated Bank on Dec. 5, 2016. She then robbed an Old National Bank on Dec. 10, 2016. The third alleged robbery occurred three days later.

Harding was arrested after taking a taxi to and from the last of the three robberies on Dec. 13, 2016, authorities said. After her arrest, she was taken to Meriter Hospital.

Police had to get a search warrant to perform a cavity search on Harding because it was determined that she hid some of the money taken during the robbery in her body, the State Journal wrote.

Harding also had red dye on her fingernails that matched the dye contained in the dye pack that was handed over with cash to the suspect who robbed the Old National Bank, police said.

Harding never displayed a weapon during the robberies, but kept her hands in her pockets in a way that suggested she had a weapon, according to reports.

Harding's four-year prison sentence will come after the five years she is currently serving for other crimes committed during her probation. She will be on extended supervision for 13 years after she is finally released from prison.

The woman's attorney told the court that Harding had a male accomplice for two of the robberies, but she is afraid to reveal the man's identity to him or to police, the State Journal reported.

Harding has reportedly suffered abuse since she was a child that reached into adulthood and left her with issues including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky noted she understood Harding had physical and mental health issues and suffered from drug addiction, but said she had to sentence her to prison because of the threat she poses to public safety, the paper reported.

Harding has spent time in federal prison for a 2006 bank robbery.

Prosecutors asked for five years for the December bank robberies, while her attorney asked for two.

Harding reportedly apologized for what she did, saying things at the time were "going wrong" for her and that she has nightmares about her actions.

"I feel bad," Harding said in court, according to the State Journal. "I really do. I wish I could take it all back. I really do."

Harding told the judge that she gave birth to a baby boy after her arrest. She said she put the child up for adoption and he was taken in by a family with whom she has kept in touch.