Katie Sorensen, the California mom turned Instagram influencer who went viral last December after accusing a Latino couple named Eduardo and Sadie Martinez of attempting to kidnap her kids in a Petaluma crafts store, has been charged with giving false information to police, according to county prosecutors.
Looking more like Pinocchio than a social media star, Sorensen, of Sonoma County, is now facing two misdemeanor counts for allegedly lying to the police.
The accusation against the Martinezes, who are the parents to five kids of their own, was a clear case of racial profiling, the two said back in December ("I don’t know if anyone’s been paying attention the last four years, but there’s been a lot of racism going on and, well, Katie’s following suit,” Sadie said, as previously reported by OK!).
From the very first post about the incident on Sorensen's Instagram account, the story appeared to have enough holes to sink a ship. Sorensen's alleged fib began with a video of herself posted on December 13, 2020, to her former Instagram account (@motherhoodessentials). "Monday of this week, my children were the targets of attempted kidnap," she claimed.
"Um, which is such a weird thing to even vocalize. But, um, it happened. And I want to share that story with you in an effort to raise awareness as to what signs to look for and to just encourage parents to just be more aware of their surroundings and what is going on around them."
Sorensen made matters worse for herself when she told a local news outlet that a man and woman had followed her, her 4-year-old son and her 1-year-old daughter into the store. "I heard them talking about the features of my children, but I was totally paralyzed with fear," she said at the time. "I just couldn't bring myself to do anything."
Sorensen called the experience "very awkward." She continued on video, "There is no other explanation as to why they were doing that besides they were just building the courage... I saw these people, they didn't look necessarily clean cut. I felt uncomfortable around them, and instead of making them uncomfortable with my discomfort, I chose to remain in my discomfort."
The local police soon made public a CCTV image of the couple in question and asked for witnesses to please call with any information. Not surprisingly, the only one to come forward was Sadie Martinez after seeing herself and her husband's images on television. "I couldn't believe it!" said Sadie. "It’s like we’re literally guilty of being brown while shopping."
So what's next for Katie? According to California law, it's penal code 148.9 PC that makes it a crime for a person knowingly to provide false identification to a police officer. The offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1000.00 plus penalty assessments.
In the meantime, Instagram has deleted all of Sorensen's accounts, and Sorensen will be arraigned on May 13, according to the prosecutor's office. So now it would seem we not only have "Karen"s to worry about, we now also have to look out for "Katie"s as well!