The Sonoma County District Attorney said in a news release that a Bay Area mom known as a “influencer” on social media was sentenced to jail time on Thursday after a jury found that she falsely accused a couple of trying to kidnap her children.
The DA said that the kidnapping claims went public after Kathleen Sorensen, who is 30, posted a video to Instagram in December 2020 saying that a Petaluma couple was trying to take her children at a Michaels store. Sorensen’s @motherhoodessentials_ account, which is now private, has more than 57,000 followers.
The DA’s office said that Sorensen went to the craft store on December 7, 2020, and then reported the “attempted kidnapping” to the Petaluma Police Department. About a week later, she posted a video on Instagram about what she said happened. The video included details that she hadn’t told the cops.
The DA said that officers from the department found that Sorensen’s report didn’t match up with what they saw on the store’s video and what the accused couple told them.
The tweet below verifies the news:
A Bay Area mom known as an “influencer” on social media was sentenced to jail time Thursday for falsely accusing a couple of trying to kidnap her children, the Sonoma County District Attorney said in a news release. https://t.co/1FLToxInEb
— SFGATE (@SFGate) June 30, 2023
The Press Democrat has already reported that the Latino couple thinks Sorensen’s claims were based on race.
“I didn’t think it was real. One of the two accused buyers, Sadie Martinez,” said at a 2020 news conference, “It’s like we’re guilty of being brown while shopping.”
According to the Press Democrat, Sorensen’s investigators think she used her position as an influencer to make money.
According to court papers that the outlet got its hands on, the mother believed QAnon conspiracy theories about kidnappers and pedophiles.
During Sorensen’s trial, she said she had a wrong idea of what happened during the supposed kidnapping.
Sorensen will have to spend 90 days, 30 of which will be in jail, for making a false report of a crime. The judge decided that the influencer’s mom can spend 60 days of her jail time in a work release program.
The DA said she will also have to do a year of informal probation that includes not being on social media, letting her electronic devices be searched and taken without a warrant, and taking a 4-hour course on unconscious bias. She will also have to pay fines and fees.
In the news release, District Attorney Rodriguez said, “Ms. Sorensen has been punished for her crime, and we think the judge gave her a fair sentence.” “We hope that this measure of accountability will help the couple who were wrongly accused of trying to take two young children to give them some peace of mind.”
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