Speed Reads

Influencer cries wolf

'Mom influencer' convicted for lying about kidnapping

Katie Sorensen, a self-described "mom influencer," has been convicted of falsifying a police report over two years after she made a viral video claiming a Hispanic couple attempted to kidnap her children, The Washington Post reports. 

Sorensen filed the police report in December 2020 after visiting a Michael's craft store in Petaluma, California, with her two children, the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office said in a press release. After making her purchase, she returned to her car with her children and drove out of the parking lot. "A few minutes later, she called police to report that a couple had tried to abduct her children," the Post summarizes. Sorensen then posted Instagram videos about the alleged incident, adding "significant details" she didn't share with police, prosecutors said. She also shared her story on a local news channel, KTVU

Sorensen's public accounts of the incident prompted police to re-interview her, which is when "she identified a couple in Michael's surveillance footage as the would-be kidnappers," the Post adds. But the police later determined her story to be a fabrication that was "resoundingly contradicted" by the couple she accused and the surveillance footage. In April 2021, she was charged with "three misdemeanor counts of falsely reporting a crime to government officials."

After a week-long trial in Sonoma County Superior Court, during which prosecutors claimed she made the whole thing up, jurors found Sorenson guilty of one count of filing a false police report. She was acquitted of two other counts of false reporting to government officials and "faces up to six months in jail when she is sentenced in June," the Post summarizes.

Sonoma County District Attorney Carla Rodriguez said the verdict would hold Sorensen accountable while also exonerating the falsely accused couple. "The case is also important in that it illustrates the importance of using social media responsibly," she said.