A Sonoma County judge has issued sentencing in the case of a California social media influencer who falsely accused a Latino couple of attempting to kidnap her two children in a viral Instagram video in 2020. Kathleen “Katie” Sorensen, 31, was handed 90 days in jail, a sentence she is to begin serving immediately.
California social media influencer mom gets 90 days in jail for faking kidnapping of children https://t.co/NF2tePhgRU
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On Dec. 7, 2020, Sorensen, 31, filed a false police report, accusing the couple of attempting to kidnap her children at the parking lot of a Michaels arts and craft store in Sonoma County.
The incident gained public attention when she posted a viral Instagram video a week after filing the police report, providing supposed details about the alleged abduction attempt. Local news outlets had invited her to share her story on air as her story appeared intriguing.
However, subsequent police investigations contradicted her claims, leading to her conviction on a misdemeanor charge of knowingly making a false report of attempted kidnap in April.
According to authorities, Sorensen truly encountered the Latino couple who were at the store to shop for Christmas decorations, but the abduction attempts did not happen as the social media influencer loaded her two kids into the car after shopping and left the store’s parking lot.
She had been charged with two additional counts of filing a false police report, but the jury, after a one-day deliberation, cleared her of the counts.
At the time, District Attorney Carla Rodriguez expressed her satisfaction with the verdict, stating, “This verdict will enable us to hold Ms. Sorensen accountable for her crime, while at the same time helping to exonerate the couple that was falsely accused of having attempted to kidnap two young children.”
Sorensen’s sentencing requires her to serve 60 days of her jail time in a work release program. Additionally, she was placed on 12 months of probation, during which she will not be allowed on social media.
Responding to the sentencing, Rodriguez emphasized the importance of accountability and expressed satisfaction with the judge’s decision, stating, “Ms. Sorensen has been held accountable for her crime, and we believe the Judge handed down a fair sentence.”
“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,” she added.