Katie Sorensen, a 31-year-old "momfluencer," falsely reported that her two children were the victims of an attempted kidnapping in 2020.
A court has sentenced 31-year-old “momfluencer” Kathleen Sorensen to 90 days in jail for falsely reporting that a couple had attempted to kidnap her children in 2020.
That year, Sorensen and her two young children went to the craft store Michaels. According to Sorensen, a couple approached her and her children and started asking her questions about them.
“Monday of this week, my children were the targets of attempted kidnap,” Sorensen said in a video she later made about the incident a week later, per Good Morning America.
Sorensen said the couple gave her the “heebie-jeebies” and later followed her and her children out to the parking lot.
“I want to share that story with you in an effort to raise awareness as to what signs to look for and to just encourage parents to be more aware of their surroundings,” she explained in the video.
After leaving the store, Sorensen called the Petaluma Police Department to report the incident, and they took on the case.
Authorities released an image of the accused couple online. Sadie and Eddie Martinez soon reached out to the police and told them they were the couple in the footage.
The Martinez family told police that Sorensen was lying about the whole ordeal.
“She wanted a stronger following. She was looking for content for her fame and her income and at our expense,” Sadie Martinez told Good Morning America.
The investigation also included a search of the store’s surveillance cameras. After reviewing the footage, police found that Sorensen’s story did not match with what she reported.
Police questioned Sorensen’s claims even more after she released the Instagram video. The influencer recalled a drastically different story in her Instagram video than the one she told police, prompting authorities to second guess the claims altogether.
Authorities quickly dismissed the attempted kidnapping claims after reviewing camera footage, speaking to the couple, and hearing Sorensen’s alternative versions of the story.
In 2021, police arrested Sorensen on misdemeanor charges of falsely reporting a crime. During Sorensen’s hearings, her lawyer tried to paint the incident as an honest mistake.
“She misperceived and misunderstood a series of random events which were occurring around her and made an honest report to the police,” he told Good Morning America.
However, a jury didn’t agree.
Now, a California court has found Sorensen guilty of knowingly reporting a false crime to authorities. According to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office, Sorensen will serve 90 days in jail, 60 of which can be served through a work release program.
The courts have also inflicted a 12-month informal probation period on Sorensen. During this time, Sorensen cannot have a social media presence. She must submit to random searches, complete a 4-hour bias training, and pay fines.
“Ms. Sorensen has been held accountable for her crime,” District Attorney Carla Rodriguez said regarding 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.”
After reading about Kathleen Sorenson’s false kidnapping claims, dive into the story of Sherri Papini, the California woman who faked her own kidnapping and torture. Then, discover the story of Carolyn Bryant and the false accusation that cost Emmett Till his life.