Social worker, Kaitlyn Braun, 24, was arrested by Brantford police on Monday and is facing more than 30 charges ranging from criminal harassment and fraud to sexual assault.
She is currently behind bars after lying to at least six doulas and faking contractions as she repeatedly lied to the birthing partners she hired, claiming she was in labor or carrying a stillborn, it’s claimed.
She sought out the doulas – professionals who provide support during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period – and told them she had fallen pregnant after a sexual assault, cops say.
Police in Brantford, Ontario, have charged her with 32 offenses – including criminal harassment, false pretenses, fraud, sexual assault and indecent acts.
It is not clear exactly what the indecent acts or sexual assault charges relate to, but doulas professionally provide intimate physical support, including massages and moving clients into various positions.
Investigators say she allegedly sought the assistance of registered doulas across the province for false pregnancies and false stillbirths from June 2022 to February 2023.
Braun reached out to London doula Seanna Hayes -one of her victims – in August 2022 and told her she was 41 weeks pregnant and needed support for a live birth at her home in Brantford.
Hayes says Braun made countless excuses to avoid going to a hospital.
‘She was crying and screaming, saying that she’d been assaulted outside a hospital and it was very triggering for her,’ Hayes said.
‘I laboured in her home for three days, after which we went to Cambridge hospital and her labour mysteriously stalled and she would pretend to make phone calls to the hospital, telling me doctors told her she can stay home.
Hayes grew suspicious and called the hospital herself. She said officials there denied ever telling a pregnant patient to stay home. Hayes then convinced Braun that they should return to the hospital and get checked out.
Once there, Hayes said she overheard a doctor tell Braun that she wasn’t pregnant and that there was nothing inside her except an IUD — a form of birth control.
Hayes said at that point Braun acted very confused and got emotional, saying she didn’t know what had happened.
According to Silva, everything about Braun’s labour process seemed normal and there were no red flags.
‘Her contractions were spaced out, which is normal when you’re nervous,’ Silva said.
‘She would cry and say ‘I’m really scared and I can’t do this,’ and when she felt safe, they’d pick up again, so it didn’t present as a fake labour. She’s very good at acting.’
Doula Abigail Dienesch from Durham, Ont., said she was helping Braun with a stillbirth as recently as last week, and that they were together when Braun received a call from police telling her she was being investigated for fraud.
‘It was really shocking, it honestly felt like a movie,’ Dienesch said.
‘It’s hard to process that the person I was with is the same person everyone’s talking about.’
No one have the idea that led Braun to do this.
Braun is presently facing the following charges:
10 counts of criminal harassment.
12 counts of false pretenses.
4 counts of fraud.
3 counts of sexual assault.
3 counts of indecent act.
Brantford police investigators say they are releasing Braun’s name because they believe there could be more victims.
She will remain in police custody until her next court appearance on Friday.