(CNN) –A California woman has been sentenced to 90 days in jail after lying to authorities about a couple trying to kidnap her children, according to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.
Kathleen Sorensen, 31, was sentenced to prison Thursday on a single count of knowingly making a false report of a crime. The conviction stemmed from an incident in December 2020, when Sorensen and her two children were shopping at a Michaels craft store in Petaluma, California, about 30 miles north of San Francisco.
After purchasing several items, Sorensen left with her two children and left the parking lot, according to a news release from Sonoma County prosecutors. Several minutes later, Sorensen called the Petaluma Police Department to report that a couple tried to kidnap their children.
In addition, Sorensen recorded and posted a viral video on Instagram about the alleged incident about a week later, according to the statement.
In the video, Sorensen discussed the incident in “great detail” and added “significant details that had not been disclosed to the Petaluma Police Department,” the district attorney’s office said. Sorensen also took part in a local news program and repeated his account of the events.
In a follow-up interview with police, Sorensen identified a couple from the store video as the people who tried to kidnap his children, according to the statement. But police said her report turned out to be false and “was strongly contradicted by the accused couple, as well as by the store video that was obtained,” the district attorney’s office said.
CNN has reached out to Sorensen’s attorney for comment.
Days after the incident, Sadie Martinez identified herself and her husband as the couple accused of the alleged kidnapping, the Petaluma Argus-Courier reported at the time. Sadie Martinez, who is Latina, suspected the incident was racially motivated: Sorensen is white.
“I could not believe it. It’s like we’re literally guilty of being brown while shopping,” she said, according to the Argus-Courier.
In April, after a jury convicted Sorensen of lying to authorities about a fake kidnapping attempt, Martinez told Elle magazine that she was “happy” with the outcome.
“After (Sorensen) avoided accountability for years, and then hearing that she was found guilty and left in handcuffs… yes, justice was served,” he said. “I feel like it’s a step in the right direction for my family. I am grateful for the support.”
The district attorney’s office said 60 days of Sorensen’s sentence could be served in a work release program.
“EM. Sorensen has been held accountable for her crime and we believe the judge handed down a fair sentence. Our hope is that this accountability measure will help bring closure to the couple who were falsely accused of attempting to kidnap two young children. ”District Attorney Carla Rodríguez said in a statement.
Sorensen “was also placed on 12 months of informal probation during which she was ordered to have no social media presence, submit to a warrantless search and seizure, include her electronic devices, complete 4-hour implicit bias training.” , as well as various fines and fees,” the statement says.
CNN’s Taylor Romine and Alaa Elassar contributed to this report.