Brantford, Ont., woman serving house arrest for faking pregnancies, scamming doulas faces new charges

WARNING: This article references sexual assault and suicidal ideation, and may affect those who have experienced​ them or know someone affected by them.

A Brantford, Ont., woman sentenced in February to house arrest for faking pregnancies, harassment and fraudulently seeking the services of numerous doulas is in custody and facing new charges, Hamilton police say.

Allegations between April 17 and April 18 spurred an investigation into 25-year-old Kaitlyn Braun this week, police said Wednesday.

“It was reported that Braun falsely solicited support related to pregnancy and childbirth from unsuspecting victim(s),” says a Hamilton Police Service media release Wednesday.

Braun was arrested Tuesday in Brantford and remains in custody following a bail hearing Wednesday morning.

She’s charged with:

  • Obtaining by false pretence.
  • Harassing communications.
  • Alleged breach of conditional sentence order.

It’s unclear if there are multiple victims. Police said in an email to CBC Hamilton it won’t be sharing any victim information.

“We urge anyone with information to come forward to our detectives — that would include anyone who may have been victim that hasn’t reported to police,” the service said.

Sentenced to house arrest 2 months ago

doula is a trained professional who supports clients before, during and shortly after childbirth. They also help with grief and trauma around pregnancy loss, but they’re not health-care professionals who deliver babies and they don’t have access to medical records or equipment.  While doulas have certifications with different organizations, they are not registered with a regulating or governing body.

Braun previously faced 52 charges for seeking the help of doulas in what ended up being false pregnancies and stillbirths from June 2022 to February 2023. 

In February, Justice Robert Gee sentenced her to two years of house arrest and three years of probation after she pleaded guilty late in 2023 to 21 charges, including fraud, indecent acts, false pretences and mischief. She also was told she’d have to wear a GPS ankle bracelet and undergo mandatory counselling, is forbidden to contact victims, and is banned from using the internet and social media for two years.  

During court hearings, lawyers shared Braun’s long history of mental health challenges, including memories of childhood sexual assault, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and bipolar and borderline tendencies. Braun’s health records indicate a history of suicidal ideation and almost 200 hospital visits beginning in 2006. 

Various doulas gave victim impact statements during Braun’s sentencing hearing, detailing how her actions have traumatized them and affected their lives and jobs.

Judge noted impact on victims

Braun also spoke before she was sentenced.

“I know that the words I speak today do not take back what I did and that they don’t automatically create healing. However, it is my hope that my words, along with my plan of action, show that I’m a changed person,” Braun said from inside the prisoner’s box at the time.

“What I did was ultimately very wrong, and I feel a strong sense of shame when I think of the hurt and the pain that I’ve caused. I never wanted to be the person I became.”

Gee acknowledged the immense impact Braun had on her victims before releasing her sentence.

“The trauma caused was expressed eloquently by many during their victim impact statements,” the judge said. “Many now have trust issues, it’s impacted their abilities to carry out duties in their chosen profession as doulas, some have left the profession entirely and all have suffered financially because of Ms. Braun.”

Help resources

For anyone who has been sexually assaulted, support is available through crisis lines and local support services via this government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. ​​If you’re in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.

For anyone struggling with their mental health, help is available through:

This guide from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health outlines how to talk about suicide with someone you’re worried about.

 

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