By Web staff
PETALUMA, California (KPIX) — A social media influencer and mom from the North Bay who went viral for a 2020 Instagram video falsely claiming a couple tried to kidnap her children has been sentenced to jail, prosecutors said.
According to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office, 30-year-old Kathleen “Katie” Sorensen was sentenced Thursday to serve 90 days in jail, 60 of which could be served on a work-release program. Sorensen was convicted in April for knowingly making a false report of a crime.
“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 statement. “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.”
On December 7, 2020, prosecutors said Sorensen called the Petaluma Police Department claiming that a couple tried to kidnap her two young children at a Michael’s craft store. A week later, she posted a video about the incident on Instagram, which went viral.
Sorensen then went on a local news program repeating her claims and identified a Petaluma couple as being the perpetrators, which proved to be false.
“Ms. Sorensen’s report was determined to be false and resoundingly contradicted by the accused couple as well as store video that was obtained,” prosecutors said.
Before the accusation, Sorenson had enjoyed a modest following on her @motherhoodessentials Instagram account while also posting conspiracy theories espoused by QAnon followers of Democrats and Hollywood elites running child sex-trafficking rings. Her videos on the alleged kidnapping attempt were viewed more than four million times and gained her tens of thousands of new followers. They have since been deleted.
Sadie Vega-Martinez, who was falsely accused by Sorenson along with her husband Eddie Martinez, told Elle magazine back in April she was “happy” with the verdict.
“After [Sorensen] avoided accountability for years, and then hearing she was found guilty and walked out in handcuffs… yes, justice was served,” said Vega-Martinez told Elle. “I feel like it’s a step in the right direction for my family. I’m grateful for the support.”
Along with jailtime, the judge ordered Sorensen to 12 months of probation, which prohibits her from having a social media presence. She has also been ordered to complete implicit bias training and to pay various fines and fees.
Sorensen was remanded into custody following the hearing to begin serving her sentence, prosecutors said.
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