A California “mom influencer” who falsely claimed that a Latino couple attempted to kidnap her children while she was shopping in 2020, learned her fate on Thursday.
Katie Sorensen was sentenced to serve 90 days in county jail, 60 of which could be on a work release program, for knowingly making a false report of a crime, the Sonoma County DA’s office announced.
Sorensen, who was convicted in April, was also placed on 12 months of probation where she cannot have any social media presence, submit to warrantless search and seizure, including her electronic devices, complete a 4-hour implicit bias training, and various fines.
“Ms. Sorensen has been held accountable for her crime and we believe the Judge handed down a fair sentence,” District Attorney Carla Rodriguez said in a press release following the sentencing. “Our hope is that this measure of accountability will help provide some closure to the couple that was falsely accused of having attempted to kidnap two young children.”
In Dec. 2020, Sorensen drove to the Petaluma Police Department to “report suspicious behavior exhibited by two adults (a man and woman) at a Michael’s craft store,” the original police press release said.
Sorensen accused Sadie and Eddie Martinez of abducting her 1 and 4-year-old children despite the couple only buying a decorative baby Jesus for a nativity scene at the time of the alleged kidnapping.
Several days after reporting the crime, Sorenson shared her story for her 57,000 followers on Instagram, claiming the Martinez’ had attempted to abduct her kids, while adding additional information not reported to law enforcement.
“My children were the targets of an attempted kidnapping,” Sorensen shared in a video to the Instagram account ‘motherhoodessentials_.’ “I want to share that story with you in an effort as to what signs to look for and encourage parents to be more aware of their surroundings and what is going on around them.”
The Instagram video, viewed nearly five million times and led to her talking to a local news outlet, led Sorensen to be interviewed by a local news outlet again sharing the details she never told the police, which led to an investigation into her claims.
Police conducted a follow-up interview with Sorensen where she identified the Martinezes, but her account contradicted the couple’s experience and the store video proved there was no suspicious activity.
Sadie Martinez called the accusations against her racially motivated.
“Do you really think it’s OK to go online and be racist and make stories about a family?,” she said to KTVU several days after the incident was reported. “It’s hard enough to be a Latin family in a white community.”
Sorensen was charged in April 2021 on two misdemeanor counts of making a false report of a crime, but one charge was dropped before her hearing earlier this year.
Following the Thursday sentencing, Sorensen was immediately remanded to begin serving her sentence, no booking photo was available as of early Friday.
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