Skip to main content

Brantford, Ont., woman sentenced to house arrest for defrauding doulas


Kaitlyn Braun, the Brantford, Ont., woman who pleaded guilty to defrauding and deceiving doulas, will serve two years of house arrest and three years probation.

Her victims – and even the judge – expressed disappointment in her sentence Wednesday.

“Many will find this as distasteful as I do,” Justice Robert Gee admitted in court.

Braun will be required to wear a GPS ankle bracelet, cannot contact her victims and must attend mandatory counselling sessions. She is also banned from using the internet and social media for two years.

“I honestly cannot believe the sentence they imposed,” said Maighen Stanley, a doula and one of Braun’s victims. “I think the judge kind of could agree with that. He was also quite upset.”

History of the case

Starting in June 2022, Braun began requesting the services of doulas – professionals who provide support during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Her victims included doulas in Ontario, Alberta and Florida.

The court heard that she lied to them about being pregnant, often saying she was carrying a stillborn child. She would speak to them in person, by phone or through video chats.

Doulas described to the court sitting with Braun as she pretended to deliver a stillborn baby, sometimes screaming, crying and moaning in pain.

In several cases, the Crown said, Braun “requested a massage while naked” from a doula, including rubbing her back and hips.

She often received services for free or failed to pay the doula.

Braun was arrested in March 2023 and later pleaded guilty to 21 charges, including fraud, mischief and committing indecent acts. She initially faced around 50 charges, but many of them were withdrawn before her plea.

In January, Braun read a statement to the court saying she had “a strong sense of shame when I think of the pain that I caused.”

“I can’t still be that person, nor do I want to be,” she added. “I’m deeply and truly sorry. I hope that you’re all able to heal.”

Why was the judge upset?

The Crown and defence put forward a joint submission for Braun’s sentencing, a recommendation that was ultimately accepted by the court.

Justice Gee, however, expressed concerns about Braun’s mental health assessment. The report indicated Braun was likely to reoffend and treatment may modify, but was not likely to stop, her behaviour.

“Judges are told to go along with joint submissions, even if they disagree,” Gee explained.

He also said rejecting a deal should only be done in limited circumstances.

“I do not like the joint submission and I don’t like how it was structured,” the judge added. “I feel I am constrained to follow the joint submissions.”

Gee further explained he felt the Crown and defence were not “adequately acknowledging Braun’s mental health challenges and likeliness to reoffend.”

Braun was sentenced to house arrest for two years, less one day, but can leave her home for emergency, medical or counselling appointments. She’s also allowed four hours a week outside her home to purchase “necessities of life.”

Victims react to sentence

Many of Braun’s victims were stunned by her sentence.

“To be here now and still not receive any justice is really hard,” Stanley said outside the courtroom. “I'm upset, I'm really upset. I was with her for nearly a week. I was one of the victims who had assault charges before they were withdrawn. I am disgusted with her lawyer and our Crown attorney.”

Since her experience with Braun, Stanley has received therapy and has been in and out of crisis centres and mental health facilities. She said she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Every client that contacts me, I have to question, because my trust has been so severely broken,” Stanley explained.

But she refuses to give up being a doula.

“I'm not going to let her win. She will never win. I am going to continue to help people and give people the best support I can. And I'm not going to let her ruin it for me.”

Amy Silva also didn’t feel like house arrest was enough for Braun.

“This just goes to show that our justice system is broken,” the doula said. “I'm still struggling with the fact that she's walking around somewhere.”

Amy Perry, another victim, wasn’t hopeful that Braun could be rehabilitated.

“I think, even based on what the judge said today and what all the reports [said], is that we're all fairly confident she's going to do this again,” she explained.

Despite her disappointment, Perry is ready to turn the page.

“(I’m) tying to move on a little bit,” she said. “Trying to get back to normal.”

With additional reporting by CTV's Stefanie Davis Top Stories

Stay Connected