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California mom and Instagram influencer who went viral last December after accusing a Latino couple of trying to kidnap her kids from a Petaluma craft store has been accused of giving police false information , according to county prosecutors.

Katie Sorensen of Sonoma County faces two counts of allegedly lying to the cops about the incident. The extravagant indictment against longtime locals Eduardo and Sadie Martinez, who have five children of their own, was a clear case of racial profiling, the two said at the time.

“Great news for all of us, but especially for my cousin, Sadie Vega-Martinez and her husband Eddie,” a family member wrote on Facebook after the charges were announced. “They were falsely accused by this ‘influencer’ of attempting to kidnap his children from a local Michaels store. A major allegation! She obviously didn’t know who she was joking with … my cousin. Prima, I’m so glad you persisted! There absolutely must be consequences for the attention-seeking “influencers” that make up the drama for likes and opinions on social media… Can you imagine this happening to YOU? It could very well. And it’s unreal.

The wild claim started with a video Sorensen posted on December 13 to his now defunct Instagram account @motherhoodessentials.

“On Monday of this week, my children were the target of an attempted kidnapping,” she said. “Um, which is so weird to even vocalize. But, uh, it happened. And I want to share this story with you with the goal of raising awareness of the signs to look for and just encouraging parents to just be more aware of their surroundings and what’s going on around them.

Sorensen, who is white, later told local media outlet KTVU that a man and woman followed her, her 4-year-old son and her 1-year-old daughter to the store. She said in the Instagram video that she then overheard the couple, who “didn’t necessarily look clean,” on the phone, describing what their children looked like.

“I heard them talk about the characteristics of my children, but I was totally paralyzed with fear,” Sorensen continued. “I just couldn’t bring myself to say anything.”

She claimed the couple followed her and their children into the parking lot and acted oddly as they walked over to their van, which was parked near Sorensen.

“Very awkward,” Sorensen said, explaining that the duo then walked away without further incident. “There’s no other explanation as to why they were doing this, other than they were just building courage… I saw these people, they didn’t necessarily look flawless. I felt uncomfortable with them, and instead of making them uncomfortable with my discomfort, I chose to stay in my discomfort.

Last News Cali influencer accused of falsely claiming Latino couple attempted to kidnap their children

Petaluna Police Department

Police released a CCTV image of the couple and asked witnesses to come forward, but they could not find any evidence or witnesses to corroborate Sorensen’s account.

Sadie Martinez, who recognized herself and her husband in the surveillance camera photo, said at a subsequent press conference: “I couldn’t believe it. It’s like we are literally guilty of being brown while shopping. “

The Martinez quickly made public their desire to see Sorensen sued.

“Do you really think it’s okay to go online and be racist and tell stories about a family?” Sadie Martinez said at a rally several days later. “It’s hard enough being a Latin family in a white community.”

“Getting up and going shopping one day and then being accused of trying to kidnap someone’s children is heartbreaking… Unfortunately we have targets on our backs,” she said.

Sorensen claimed the couple hadn’t bought anything in the store before they supposedly followed her outside. But the surveillance photo appeared to show them making a purchase. Shortly after the controversy erupted, Sadie Martinez’s daughter, Esaia Gonzalez, told BuzzFeed News that she was “horrified” by Sorensen’s allegations and that she believed Sorensen had probably heard the couple talk about it. their own grandchildren, not Sorensen’s children.

Sorensen did not respond to an interview request. His lawyer, Charles Dresow, told the Daily Beast he would not be able to comment in detail before Sorensen is arraigned.

A source close to Sorensen told the Daily Beast that the Petaluma Police Department sent the case to the district attorney’s office after completing their investigation. The maximum penalty for each of the two counts is six months in jail, but the source said it is rare for an accused to be given so much time in such a case, unless under “very circumstances. specific ”are involved.

“This will be one of those situations that ends up being legally fascinating, as the political desire to prosecute something as a crime may go beyond what’s in the penal code,” the source said. “Obviously there are some interesting high-level elements, with the social context of it, but there is also an intriguing legal backdrop to anything worth following in a number of ways.”

The bogus report allegedly filed by Sorensen mimics others in a long series of bogus allegations made by whites against people of color. Last year, a white New York woman falsely accused a black bird watcher of threatening her and her dog. When proof emerged that she had made it all up, the woman, Amy Cooper, was fired from her job at investment firm Franklin Templeton.

According to a 2017 study, blacks convicted of murder are about 50% more likely to be innocent than whites convicted of the same crime.

Following the kidnapping allegation, Sadie Martinez started a #ProsecuteKatie movement on social media and was appointed to Petaluma’s Police and Race Relations Advisory Board.

Sorensen is to be arrested on May 13.

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