Social media influencer charged after claiming Latino couple tried to kidnap children
An Instagram influencer who went viral in December when she accused a Latino couple of attempting to kidnap her children at a local craft store has been charged with two counts of giving false information to police.
The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office has charged Katie Sorensen with two misdemeanor charges: one for giving false information to a police officer and another for giving false information to a police dispatcher.
Sorensen, who is white, gained attention in December after posting two videos to her Instagram account in which she alleged that a pair of shoppers had tried to kidnap her two kids at a Michaels store in the California city of Petaluma.
The videos from Sorensen — who posted them to her Instagram account @motherhoodessentials, which she has since changed to the private page @motherhoodessentials_ — gained about 4.5 million views, according to local newspaper the Argus-Courier.
Petaluma police in the days after the videos were posted said Sorensen’s claims against Sadie and Eddie Martinez lacked merit and cleared the couple of any wrongdoing, the newspaper reported.
The couple, longtime Petaluma residents and parents to five children, told the Argus-Courier on Thursday that they were “very happy with the news” of charges filed against Sorensen.
“It’s a nice step toward justice. It gives you hope,” Sadie Martinez said.
The couple told the newspaper that they learned of Sorensen’s allegations when police released screenshots of security footage of the Martinezes at Michaels, where they had gone to purchase a decorative baby Jesus.
Sadie Martinez told the Argus-Courier in December, “My kid came to me and showed me the picture, and said, ‘Mom this looks like you.’”
The district attorney’s office told the newspaper that Sorensen had been notified of the charges, with an arraignment hearing scheduled for the morning of May 13.