Kathleen Sorensen, a white California woman known as a “mom influencer” on social media, has been sentenced to three months in prison for falsely accusing a Latino couple of attempting to kidnap her children, Your Content has learned.
In April, state jurors in Sonoma county found Sorensen guilty of knowingly making a false report of a crime.
The case revolved around a December 2020 social media post where she claimed that a man and a woman had tried to steal her two children in the parking lot of a Michaels craft store, located about 40 miles (65km) outside San Francisco.
Authorities stated that both the accused couple and store surveillance video strongly contradicted Sorensen’s account.
Judge Laura Passaglia, on Thursday, sentenced Sorensen to 90 days in prison, with the possibility of two months being served through a work release program, as mentioned in a statement from the local district attorney’s office.
In addition to the prison sentence, Sorensen is required to refrain from any presence on social media, consent to warrantless searches and seizures of her electronic devices, undergo four hours of implicit bias training, and pay various fines and fees.
District Attorney Carla Rodriguez expressed satisfaction with the verdict and prison sentence, stating that Sorensen is being held accountable for her crime.
Sorensen’s defense attorney, Charles Dresrow, was unavailable for immediate comment.
Previously, he had claimed that his client “misperceived and misunderstood a series of random events, which were occurring around her, and made an honest report to the police.”
Dresrow stated that Sorensen had no understanding of how her actions would spread and the impact they would cause.
Prior to this incident, Sorensen shared beauty and motherhood tips on social media. However, her online presence drastically changed when she reported the alleged kidnapping attempt after shopping at a Michaels store on December 7, 2020.
Several days later, she posted a video on social media providing a more detailed version of the events at the store, different from the one she initially told investigators.
In the video, Sorensen described how the couple had followed her into the store, made comments about her children’s appearances, and made her uncomfortable because they did not fit her perception of “clean-cut individuals.”
Sorensen also mentioned that the couple continued to follow her after leaving the store and waited near her as she placed her children in her car.
She claimed to have been paralyzed with fear and unable to confront the couple, who only fled after she yelled for help.
According to the statement from Rodriguez, Sorensen’s video and subsequent appearance on a local news program included significant additional details that had not been disclosed to the police.
The couple, Sadie and Eddie Martinez, came forward to deny Sorensen’s claims after recognizing themselves in a photo released by the police following the influencer’s report, which they perceived as racial profiling.
She was acquitted of two of the counts, leaving her to face a maximum of six months in connection with the charge for which she was convicted, according to The Guardian.