SANTA ROSA, Calif. — An Instagram social influencer who allegedly attempted to kidnap her young children has been convicted of falsely reporting a crime, CBS Bay Area Report.
Katie Sorenson, a former Sonoma, Calif., resident, was immediately remanded in custody on the misdemeanor charge and bail was set at $100,000, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release. He must go to jail for up to six months.
Sorenson, 31, posted the viral Instagram video in December 2020 claiming that a couple tried to kidnap her two children at a Michael’s store in Petaluma. The videos were posted about a week after Sorenson reported the attempted kidnapping to police In the videos, Sorenson described several details about the alleged incident that were not disclosed to police, the DA’s office said.
Sorensen later went on a local news program to repeat his account of the alleged incident, identifying a Petaluma couple seen on Michael’s store surveillance video as the perpetrators.
Before the indictment, Sorenson enjoyed a modest following on her @matherhoodessentials Instagram account while also posting conspiracy theories supported by QAnon followers about Democrats and Hollywood elites running child-sex-trafficking rings.
His videos of alleged kidnapping attempts have been viewed more than four million times and earned him tens of thousands of new followers. They have been deleted.
The DA’s office said Sorensen’s report was determined to be false and was strongly contradicted by the accused couple as well as the store’s surveillance video.
“This verdict will enable us to hold Ms. Sorensen accountable for her crimes, while helping to exonerate the couple who were falsely accused of attempting to kidnap two young children,” District Attorney Carla Rodriguez said in a press release. . “The case is also important in that it illustrates the importance of using social media responsibly.”
Sorensen was charged with three misdemeanor counts of falsely reporting a crime: one to a police dispatcher, another to a police officer on December 7, 2020, and a third a week later to a police detective. He was acquitted of the first two counts and convicted of the third for statements he made to detectives.
Sadie Vega-Martinez, who along with her husband Eddie Martinez was accused of perjury by Sorenson, told Elle magazine that she was “happy” with the verdict.
“(Sorensen) after years of avoiding accountability, and then hearing he was convicted and walking away in handcuffs … yes, justice was served,” he said. “I think it’s a step in the right direction for my family. I’m grateful for the support.”
In a statement to The Press-Democrat, Sorenson’s attorney, Charles Dresso, said, “The not guilty verdict on counts one and two rejects the theory that my client lied to police on Dec. 7. The jury reviewed the actual evidence and the way the case was tried out of court. It appears to be very different from what is depicted. We are disappointed to count three and will evaluate our options moving forward.”
Sorensen showed no emotion as the verdict was read as family members began to cry in the courtroom, The Press-Democrat reported. He was quickly led from the courtroom in handcuffs, the report said. He is being held in the Sonoma County Jail.
A sentencing date has not been set.