A Californian”influencer mom” was sentenced to 90 days behind bars for falsely claiming a Latino couple tried to kidnap her children while she was shopping in 2020.
Katie Sorensen will serve her time in a county jail, with 60 days eligible for a work release program.
The influencer was convicted in April of knowingly making a false report of a crime, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office said.
Sorensen also received 12 months of probation, which includes being restricted from having a social media presence, submitting to a warrantless search and seizure, including his electronic devices, completing 4-hour implicit bias training, and various fines, the New York Post reported.
“EM. Sorensen has been held accountable for his crime and we believe the judge handed down a fair sentence,” District Attorney Carla Rodríguez said in a post-sentencing statement. “Our hope is that this accountability measure will help bring closure.” to the couple who were falsely accused of having tried to kidnap two small children”.
In December 2020, Sorensen drove to the Petaluma Police Department to “report suspicious behavior exhibited by two adults (one male and one female) at a Michael’s craft store,” the original police press release said.
Sorensen later accused Sadie and Eddie Martinez of kidnapping their 1-year-old and 4-year-old children. However, the couple only purchased a decorative baby Jesus for a nativity scene at the time of the alleged abduction.
Several days after reporting the “false” story, Sorenson shared his alleged incident with his 57,000 followers on Instagram, claiming that the Martinezes had attempted to kidnap their children, while adding additional information that was not reported to law enforcement.
“My children were the target of an attempted kidnapping,” Sorensen shared in a video on the ‘matherhoodessentials_’ Instagram account. “I want to share that story with you in an effort to learn what signs to look for and encourage parents to be more aware of their environment and what is going on around them.”
Her Instagram video garnered nearly five million views and led her to speak to a local media outlet, led Sorensen to be interviewed by a local media outlet, where she again shared the details she never told police.
This prompted authorities to launch an investigation into his claims.
Police conducted a follow-up interview with the mother, where she identified the suspected suspects, but her account contradicted the couple’s experience and video from the store that showed no suspicious activity.
Sadie Martinez called the accusations against her racially motivated.
“Do you really think it’s okay to go online and be racist and do stories about a family?” he said while speaking to the media. “It’s hard enough being a Latino family in a white community.”
Sorensen was charged with two misdemeanors for making a false report of a crime, but one charge was dropped before her hearing earlier this year.
After Thursday’s sentencing, Sorensen was immediately remanded to begin serving her sentence, no photo was available until early Friday.