Woman admits she planted dead rat in meal to extort restaurant

No, not this rat.

No, not this rat.

An Appleton woman who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has multiple personalities has pleaded no contest to charges that she tried to extort $500,000 from a restaurant after falsely claiming that she was served a meal that contained a dead rat.

Debbie R. Miller planted the dead rodent in her meal at The Seasons restaurant in April 2008 and then told the owners she would tell her story to the news media unless they forked over the cash.

The rat was out of the bag after insurance investigators sent the carcass for testing and figured that it was domestic, not wild, and that it had been cooked in a microwave oven, a piece of equipment the restaurant doesn't use.

The restaurant's owner says in the Appleton Post-Crescent that the episode has cost his business dearly.

"This has been a long, drawn out battle and it has affected my business. We would hope that if anyone had any doubts that it was a true claim, they would know now that it was extortion," said Bob Doller, who owns The Seasons in Grand Chute with his wife, Jessica.

"In April, it will be two years since this happened," he said. "If you compare 2007 to 2008 (the year of the incident), the loss was tens of thousands of dollars."