Premieres 12/1 at 8pm ET
Watch exclusively on DailyWire+
A California Instagram “mommy influencer” has been sentenced to 90 days in jail after she was previously found guilty of falsely claiming in 2020 that a couple tried to abduct her children.
Kathleen “Katie” Sorensen, 31, received her sentence last week, according to a statement from the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office. Judge Laura Passaglia said 60 days of the sentence could be served on a work-release program.
Sorensen was immediately sent to jail after the sentence, which includes 12 months of informal probation, during which time she is ordered to stay off social media; submit to warrantless search and seizure, including her electronic devices; complete a 4-hour implicit bias training; and pay various fines and fees.
“Ms. Sorensen has been held accountable for her crime and we believe the Judge handed down a fair sentence,” District Attorney Carla Rodriguez said. “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.”
Sorensen went viral on social media in December 2020 when she accused a Latino couple of following her around a Michael’s craft store and attempting to kidnap her children. The accused couple, Eduardo and Sadie Martinez, insisted at the time of Sorenson’s allegations that race played a role.
“Great news for us all but mostly for my cousin, Sadie Vega-Martinez and her husband Eddie,” a family member wrote on Facebook after Sorensen was charged in April 2021. “They were falsely accused by this ‘influencer’ of trying to kidnap her kids at a local Michaels store. A major allegation! She obviously didn’t know who she was messing with… my cousin. Prima, I’m so glad you persisted! There absolutely need[s] to be consequences for attention seeking ‘influencers’ that make up drama for likes and views on social… Can you imagine this happening to YOU? It totally could. And it’s unreal.”
Sorenson claimed in an Instagram post that her “children were the targets of attempted kidnap.”
Fox News reported that Sorensen accused the Martinezes of trying to kidnap her children from the craft store. Sorensen regularly posts on social media about her kids, and her allegations ended up pushing her number of followers on Instagram from 6,000 to more than 80,000.
Sorensen reportedly told police the couple followed her as she pushed her children in a stroller in the parking lot heading toward her car. She said the couple made comments about her children’s appearances and stood near her vehicle as she put her children inside.
Sorensen posted a video on social media a week after the alleged incident where she “included information that had not been initially presented” to police, the Petaluma Police Department said.
Sorensen also spoke to KTVU-TV about the alleged incident.
“I saw these people, they didn’t look necessarily clean-cut,” she told the outlet. “I felt uncomfortable around them, and instead of making them uncomfortable with my discomfort, I chose to remain in my discomfort.”
She claimed the man had looked at her when she was outside the store and that he and his wife followed her around the store and described her children to someone while on the phone.
“I heard them talking about the features of my children, but I was totally paralyzed with fear,” Sorensen told the outlet. “I just couldn’t bring myself to say anything.”
She claimed the couple followed her around the store and stood behind her in line even though they didn’t buy anything, and then followed her through the parking lot to her SUV. She said a white van was parked next to her vehicle, which was far from the store. She claimed the couple took a few steps toward her but then stepped back, saying the only explanation for this was that they “were just building the courage” for the kidnapping.
Sorensen claimed the man reached for the stroller, but an older man was nearby, who “saw what was going on, and I just yelled for help.”
She then said the couple drove off in a car, but another person came up behind her, possibly getting out of that white van.
The Martinez family said they went to Michael’s to buy decorations for a Nativity scene and “fully cooperated” with police. At the time, police said, “The investigation has produced no evidence or witnesses corroborating the account provided by the reporting party.”
“Evidence gathered has served to support the account provided by the couple from the store,” the police department added.
The couple spoke to reporters about the incident.
“I couldn’t believe it. It’s like we’re literally guilty of being brown while shopping,” Sadie said. “One of my kids wanted to go there to buy stuff to make hot chocolate balls and I just don’t feel comfortable. I feel like I have a target on my back, now that our image is out on the internet. Who’s to say some crazy person is not gonna come for us?”
Police eventually cleared the couple, noting the “inconsistencies” in Sorensen’s story, such as her claim the couple didn’t buy anything even though surveillance footage shows that to be false.