Kathleen Sorensen California mom influencer convicted of lying about Petaluma couple, Eduardo and Sadie Martinez attempting to kidnap her two children. The allegations which were posted on social media led to the social media influencer gaining an additional 80K followers and over 4m views.
Increasing your social media following at any cost. A mom influencer from California who went viral in 2020 after posting a video on social media accusing a Latino couple of trying to abduct her kids has been convicted of making a false report of a crime.
Kathleen Sorensen, 31, formerly of Sonoma, was taken into custody after the jury returned a guilty verdict, according to an April 27 press release from the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office. A sentencing date has not been set. Bail was set at $100,000.
On Dec. 7, 2020, Sorensen a mother of three told police, Eduardo and Sadie Martinez, a Petaluma couple attempted to kidnap her two young children at a Michael’s craft store.
Authorities said in the release the social media post contained information that was not in the initial police report, but they have not specified what that information is.
In the moments after the alleged incident, Sorensen drove to the police station to report the couple’s alleged actions and press charges before uploading two viral videos, which gained her more than 80,000 followers.
‘Guilty of being brown while shopping’
In the videos, Sorensen described how she avoided the fabricated kidnapping attempt. The videos were viewed over 4 million times. Those posts and Sorensen’s Instagram account, @motherhoodessentials, have since been deleted.
In the viral posts, Sorensen alleged that she was followed by a man and a woman while shopping with her children, claiming that they made comments about her kids before attempting to approach them in the parking lot, NBC News reported.
Sorensen also claimed in the video that the man tried to reach into her stroller before she screamed for help, telling KTVU, ‘they didn’t look necessarily clean-cut.’
Police interviewed her again after her TV appearance with NBC, and during that interview, she identified the purported suspects as a Latino couple seen in a store surveillance video. The couple denied the allegations and the kidnapping investigation was closed after the department determined Sorensen’s report was false.
The accused couple told of feeling vindicated following the jury’s decision.
‘It’s like we’re literally guilty of being Brown while shopping,’ said Sadie Martinez, who was at Michael’s with her husband shopping for Christmas decorations, according to The Argus-Courier.
After dropping the investigation, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office went forward and charged Sorensen with three misdemeanor accounts of making a false report of a crime in May 2021- one she made to a police dispatcher and a police officer on December 7 and another with a detective a week later.
Mom influencer faces 6 months jail
A jury found her guilty of the third count on Thursday.
Sorenson’s attorney, Charles Dresow, told The Press Democrat, ‘The verdict of not guilty as to counts one and two rejects the theory that my client lied to the police on Dec. 7.’
‘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 faces a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail, according to the prosecutor’s office.