Social Media Influencer Katie Sorensen Convicted After Viral False Kidnapping
A California "momfluencer" has been convicted of falsely reporting her kids' attempted kidnapping.
Social media influencer Katie Sorensen, 31, was charged with and convicted of making three false reports of a crime, according to People. Her bail is set at $100,000 and she now faces up to six months in jail.
Sorensen went viral in December 2020 when she falsely accused a Latino couple of attempting to kidnap her children outside a Michael's crafts store in Petaluma, Calif.
According to reports, Sorensen detailed the alleged kidnapping via her Instagram account, @motherhoodessentials_, in since-deleted videos that gained over 4 million views. Her Instagram account, which has 58,000 followers, has since been set to private.
Sorensen alleged that a man and a woman followed her and made comments while she was shopping in Michael's with her children before approaching them outside in the parking lot.
She told a local news outlet that the couple "didn't look necessarily clean-cut." Sorensen was subsequently interviewed by police and even identified the couple from surveillance footage.
The couple denied the allegations.
During a press conference, the couple, Sadie and Eddie Martinez, spoke out about the situation.
"It's like we're literally guilty of being Brown while shopping," Sadie shared.
Sorensen's viral videos allegedly contained differing information from the actual police report, which police declined to reveal.
"The jury reviewed the actual evidence and found it to be very different than how the case has been portrayed outside the courtroom. We are disappointed as to count three and will evaluate our options moving forward," Sorensen's attorney, Charles Dresow, told The Press Democrat.
Yahoo! Finance reports that District Attorney Carla Rodriguez said of the case, "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. The case is also important in that it illustrates the importance of using social media responsibly."
According to Yahoo! Finance, Sorensen was also known online for posting conspiracy theories to her account.