Influencer Who Claimed Couple Tried To Kidnap Her Kids Charged
A parenting influencer has been charged after claiming on social media that a couple attempted to kidnap her children while she was out shopping.
Katie Sorensen went viral last year after she took to Instagram to share two videos detailing the alleged encounter, which she says took place at her local Michaels craft store in northern California and involved Sadie Vega-Martinez and Eddie Martinez.
The influencer said the pair followed her around the store and made comments about her children, and that Martinez had even lunged towards her stroller, but after investigating the incident Petaluma police said they found no evidence of a crime. Instead, officers found evidence that supported the couple’s version of events.
In the wake of the incident, the couple accused Sorensen of racial profiling them because they are Latino. Vega-Martinez’s daughter, Esaia Gonzalez, agreed with the accusation and told BuzzFeed News the couple were more likely speaking about their own grandchildren while at the store.
After it emerged that Sorensen had been lying about the encounter, local activists rallied around the couple and called for Sorensen to face consequences.
Following the investigation, a spokesperson for the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Sorensen has been charged with two misdemeanours.
Vega-Martinez and her husband told the Petaluma Argus-Courier they were relieved to hear of the charges, saying: ‘We’re very happy with the news. It’s a nice step toward justice. It gives you hope.’
Gonzalez said her parents have five children between them and two grandchildren, with Martinez working in the community as a UPS driver.
Speaking after the truth came to light, Gonzalez told Buzzfeed:
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.
In the time since the incident, Vega-Martinez has reportedly become an activist and was appointed by the town’s mayor to be a part of an advisory committee on policing and race relations.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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