The white Instagram “mommy influencer” who in December accused a Latino couple of trying to kidnap her children has been charged with allegedly lying to cops about the incident.
The Daily Beast reported that Katie Sorenson of Sonoma County in California was charged with two misdemeanor counts for allegedly lying about a Latino couple 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 following the charges, according to the Beast. “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 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 made the allegations late last year, claiming in an Instagram post that her “children were the targets of attempted kidnap.”
Fox News reported that Sorensen accused the Martinez’s 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.
“Police said she reported that she was followed by a couple as she pushed her children in a stroller through a parking lot outside the store,” Fox reported. “She said the pair made comments about the appearance of the children and lingered near her vehicle as she placed them inside. At the time, Sorensen said she didn’t want anyone arrested, but instead wanted to draw attention to the couple’s behavior, police said.”
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 PPD 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 were describing 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 there was a white van 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, “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.
Sorensen faces a maximum of six months in jail for each of the misdemeanor counts. She is unlikely to be sentenced to the full time if found guilty.