Instagram influencer Katie Sorensen has been charged with making up a kidnapping story about her children. Sorensen posted two videos on her parenting influencer account @motherhoodessentials back in December. But police now believe that the story of a Latino couple trying to kidnap her children was false.
In the videos, Sorensen claimed that the couple nearly kidnapped her kids outside of a Michaels store. The videos went viral, garnering more than 2 million views each. Though what happened was all speculation at the time, police investigated and found that the couple had done nothing wrong and that Sorensen’s claim wasn’t true.
Katie Sorensen now faces up to six months in prison for giving false information to both police and a police dispatcher. The Sonoma County prosecutors confirmed the two misdemeanor charges four months after the incident. The couple, Sadie and Eddie Martinez, claim it was a case of racial profiling.
The parenting vlogger painted the couple as a pair of disheveled individuals plotting to kidnap her children. But it is believed they were just shopping for a decorative baby Jesus at the craft store. Sadie and Eddie Martinez are parents of five themselves. So they were disheartened after landing in the public eye for a crime they say they didn’t commit.
“We’re very happy with the news,” Sadie said Thursday after hearing Katie Sorensen will face charges. “It gives everyone a little bit of help. Things like this do happen, and we wondered for a while if she would ever face charges.”
Sadie found out about her and her husband’s newfound fame (or infamy at the time) when her daughter showed her a still of security footage circulating on the Internet. “’Mom, this looks like you’,” Sadie recalls hearing. Since then Sadie has taken to social media to spread her message, saying that those who continue to racially profile should be held accountable.
“This isn’t the first racist injustice to occur in Petaluma by a long shot, but we are definitely grateful that in this case the truth was rightfully pursued,” Esaia Gonzales, Sadie’s daughter told Buzzfeed. She explained that her mother and stepdad are wonderful parents of five, and grandparents of two, claiming that what Sorensen did was very obviously racial profiling.
This is only one of many high-profile cases of racial profiling that has lead to a police investigation. Amy Cooper sparked outrage in May last year after calling the police on an African-American man who was walking his dog in Central Park. The video, taken by his sister, shows Amy Cooper calling the police, though the dogwalker and his sister are nowhere near her.
Sadie, after escaping from the center of controversy, was appointed to the advisory committee on policing and race relations by the Petaluma Mayor, Teresa Barrett. It has recently passed the San Francisco’s Caren Act, making racially motivated 911 calls a crime.
Katie Sorensen is scheduled for her next court date on May 13, where she will answer the criminal charge. Her lawyer has not made any comments, and her Instagram account has gone private.