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Victims read impact statements at sentencing of Brantford doula fraudster

Local NewsVictims read impact statements at sentencing of Brantford doula fraudster

A Brantford woman who faked multiple pregnancies and stillbirths in order to receive the assistance of registered doulas was back in court on Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

On December 7, 2023, Kaitlyn Braun pleaded guilty to 21 charges, including false pretenses, fraud and committing indecent acts.

The offences happened between June 19, 2022 and February 17, 2023 and involved the services of several registered doulas across Ontario, Alberta and Florida.

A doula is described as a non-medical professional who provides a woman with guidance and support while they go through a significant health-related experience such as childbirth, miscarriage, induced abortion or stillbirth.

Police arrested and charged Braun in March 2023.

Victim Impact Statements

A publication ban was lifted Wednesday on the names of 12 of Braun’s victims, allowing them to tell their stories.

“We’ve been muzzled, even our statements today were heavily redacted,” victim Seanna Hayes said.

Some of the people tricked by Braun read powerful and heartfelt victim impact statements, detailing how they’ve suffered.

“I’m angry, I am beyond angry,” said victim Maighen Stanley.

Stanley stands with some of the other victims, who are all here to tell a Brantford court how Braun’s fraud hurt them.

More than a dozen heart wrenching victim impact statements were read as Braun sat shackled in the prisoners box, mostly looking down.

Hayes told the court the crime ruined her, and made her afraid to do the job she loves.

“It was hard to just get the words out of my body,” Hayes said.

She says she is unsure if she will be able to continue as a doula.

“Every time somebody reaches out it’s like, like there’s something in the back of my mind about what if they’re lying, what if they’re not being truthful.”

Kristen Aul says Braun’s fraud was humiliating, damaging and traumatic.

“It’s been a year and I still can’t comprehend half of what happened,” Aul said.

In a joint submission with the crown, Braun’s lawyer Alison MacDonald wants her client to be sentenced to two years of house arrest and three years of probation.

“I think the submissions so far speak to mental health diagnosis, speak to significant loneliness,” MacDonald said.

Braun would have to wear a G.P.S. ankle monitor, be banned from owning electronics with internet connection and submit to five years of dialectical behaviour therapy (D.B.T.).

“There is no sentence that will give us justice, never. And the two years and the probationary period, that’s a joke,” Stanley said.

Both the crown and defence outlined a long list of mental health issues including personality disorders, depression and anxiety, as well as hundreds of trips to hospital for complaints found to be made up.

“Today honestly feels like the crown attorney is more defending her than he is for us,” Aul said.

A psychological assessment found Braun is at high risk of reoffending without D.B.T., but the judge raised concerns with the sentence suggestion, including a lack of details for how Braun will be connected to treatment.

He’s also unsure about a suggestion to not count Braun’s 310 days of presentence custody towards her sentence.

Wednesday’s proceedings ended with a statement from Braun herself, expressing regret and apologizing to the people she says she has hurt.

She told the court she is now a changed person.

The judge adjourned until Feb. 14 to consider sentencing submissions.

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