Mom Influencer Convicted of Making False Report of Kidnapping Attempt in California Parking Lot

Katie Sorensen, a 31-year-old “mom influencer” from Sonoma County, California, has been convicted of making a false report of a crime.[0] In December 2020, Sorensen claimed that a Latino couple had tried to kidnap her children in the parking lot of a Michael's craft store in Petaluma, California, about 40 miles north of San Francisco.[0] Sorensen made a call to the Petaluma Police Department shortly after leaving the store and reported the alleged kidnapping attempt.[1] A week later, she posted a video on Instagram giving viewers more detail than she had originally given to police.[2] The video subsequently went viral, gaining her tens of thousands of new followers. On local news, Sorensen repeated the untrue statement that a couple had attempted to kidnap her children and described the culprits as not being “necessarily clean cut.”[2]

However, an investigation proved Sorensen's account to be false after video surveillance from the store and testimony from the accused couple contradicted her account. Prosecutors said that Sorensen's report to police “was determined to be false and was resoundingly contradicted by the accused couple as well as store video that was obtained.” Sorensen was arrested and charged in April 2021 with three misdemeanor counts of making a false report of a crime.[3] She was found not guilty on two of the counts but convicted of the third for statements made to a detective.[4]

Sorensen's case highlights the importance of using social media responsibly, according to Sonoma County District Attorney Carla Rodriguez. “This verdict will enable us to hold Ms. Sorensen accountable for her crime, while at the same time helping to exonerate the couple that was falsely accused of having attempted to kidnap two young children,” Rodriguez said in a statement.[5] Sorensen faces up to six months in jail and will be sentenced in June.[6]

Before the accusation, Sorensen had enjoyed a modest following on her @motherhoodessentials Instagram account while also posting conspiracy theories espoused by QAnon followers of Democrats and Hollywood elites running child sex trafficking rings.[4] With over four million views, her videos about the supposed kidnapping effort garnered her tens of thousands of fresh fans. They have been deleted since then.[4]

Sorensen's defense attorney, Charles Dresow, said in a statement shared with Insider that “the verdict of not guilty as to counts one and two rejects the theory that my client lied to the police on December 7.[7] The jury reviewed the actual evidence and found it to be very different than how the case has been portrayed outside the courtroom.[8] We are disappointed as to count three and will evaluate our options moving forward.

0. “Who is Katie Sorensen? Mom influencer Instagram video scandal explained” Sportskeeda, 29 Apr. 2023,

1. “Influencer Mom Convicted Of False Report In Bogus Kidnapping Claim” Patch, 29 Apr. 2023,

2. “A mom influencer was convicted of lying about attempted kidnapping” Insider, 28 Apr. 2023,

3. “California social media influencer convicted of lying about children's kidnapping” New York Post , 30 Apr. 2023,

4. “Social media ‘mom-influencer' Katie Sorenson guilty of lying about kids' attempted kidnapping” msnNOW, 27 Apr. 2023,

5. “Katie Sorensen convicted of lying about Latino Petaluma couple trying to kidnap her kids” San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Apr. 2023,

6. “Who is Katie Sorensen? The former local ‘influencer' convicted of making a false crime report” Sonoma Index-Tribune, 28 Apr. 2023,

7. “Mom Who Accused Latino Couple of Trying to Kidnap Kids Convicted” PEOPLE, 28 Apr. 2023,

8. “California social media influencer convicted of faking shopping center kidnapping” Fox News, 28 Apr. 2023,

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments