Influencer found guilty for lying about her children’s kidnapping

Katie Sorensen faces up to one year in prison after being convicted by California jury

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 01 May 2023 19:42 BST
Influencer found guilty for lying about her children’s kidnap

A social media influencer has been convicted of lying about claims that a couple tried to kidnap her children.

Katie Sorensen, 31, posted a video that was viewed more than 4 million times in which she claimed that two strangers tried to grab her young children outside a store in Petaluma, California.

The Sonoma County DA’s office said the videos were posted in December 2020, a week after Sorensen reported the supposed kidnapping attempt to police.

Following the video, the accused couple, Sadie and Eddie Martinez, recognised themselves in a photo and came forward to strongly deny the claims.

“She wanted a stronger following; she was looking for, you know, content for her name and her income, and at our expense,” Sadie Martinez told Good Morning America.

Sorensen was convicted of making a false report of a crime and was taken into custody after a jury returned a guilty verdict against her, announced authorities.

“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,” said District Attorney Rodriguez.

Her bail was set at $100,000 and a sentencing date has not yet been set. Prosecutors say that she faces a jail sentence of between six months and one year.

Sorensen’s lawyer says that his client did not lie to the police.

“She misperceived and misunderstood a series of random events, which were occurring around her, and made an honest report to the police on December 7th,” said Charles Dresow.

And he added: “I don’t think she had any understanding of how this would spread and the impact it would cause.”

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