Social media influencer who faked Petaluma kidnapping gets 90 days in jail

A social media influencer has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for concocting a fake story about a Petaluma couple attempting to kidnap her children, prosecutors said.

Kathleen 'Katie' Sorensen, 31, is allowed to serve two months of her sentence through a work release program, the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office said.

Sorensen, a former Sonoma resident, was convicted in April of lying that a Latino couple, identified as Sadie and Eddie Martinez, tried to kidnap her children from a Michaels store in 2020.

Sorensen filed a police report with the Petaluma Police Department, which subsequently launched an investigation.

About a week later, Sorensen shared a detailed video on social media recounting the alleged near abduction, but had not disclosed any of those details to police. 

Following an investigation, officers concluded that no crime had taken place, as there was no evidence to corroborate Sorensen's claims. 

She was later charged after prosecutors found that she had fabricated the story and falsely implicated an innocent couple.

Prosecutors said that Sorensen's motive was to boost her social media presence and in turn gain financial advantages.

Furthermore, they uncovered significant evidence indicating that Sorensen exhibited a level of "racial animus" towards Sadie and Eddie Martinez, who were targeted in the scheme.