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Ont. woman who faked pregnancies to defraud doulas arrested again on similar charges

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Victims of a Brantford, Ont., woman who was sentenced to house arrest earlier this year for defrauding and deceiving doulas say they’re not surprised she’s been apprehended again on similar charges.

In December, Kaitlyn Braun, 25, pleaded guilty to 21 charges including fraud, mischief and committing indecent acts. Court heard that for months she had contacted numerous doulas, falsely claiming she was pregnant.

Birth workers spent hours, and in some cases days, supporting her in-person, on the phone or over video chat, sometimes as she pretended to deliver a stillborn baby. In victim impact statements and interviews with CTV News they described their experiences as disturbing and deeply traumatic.

Kaitlyn Braun appears in a picture posted to social media. (Facebook)

In February, Braun was sentenced to two years of house arrest and three years of probation at the recommendation of a joint submission from the Crown and the defence. At the time, the judge raised concerns saying he was troubled by a mental health assessment that indicated Braun was likely to reoffend.

On Wednesday, Hamilton police announced Braun had been arrested the day before and is facing multiple charges including harassing communications, obtaining by false pretences and breaching a conditional sentence order.

Police said the new charges stem from reports that, between Wednesday April 17 and Thursday April 18, Braun falsely solicited support related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Previous victims 'knew that this was going to happen'

“I wish I could say that I’m shocked but we knew that this was going to happen,” said Seanna Hayes, a London, Ont., doula and one of Braun’s previous victims.

Hayes was among those who provided care in-person at Braun’s home. Others victims supported Braun virtually.

“We knew that when she was released on house arrest, I mean they sentenced her to the place where she traumatized people. They sentenced her to the place where she committed all her crimes,” Hayes said.

“I feel just so betrayed by the court system. It’s their job to protect the public and they didn’t do that.”

Birth workers involved in the original case learned of the new victims through a group chat they use to keep each other informed.

“It’s hard knowing that this was going to happen and not being able to stop it,” said Amy Silva, another London, Ont., doula.

Silva created one of the earliest TikTok videos warning doulas about Braun when allegations about a scammer began to emerge.

“We tried so hard for so long to protect people. So it’s just a kick in the gut really that this happened and there’s other people feeling how we felt. We know exactly what they’re going through and we can’t do anything to stop it.”

Silva is also concerned because she said one of the people Braun reached out to recently is not a doula but works in a similar profession.

“Anybody in a caregiving role, really, is a target,” Silva said.

She said she won’t be surprised if more charges are laid against Braun.

For doulas trying to heal, Braun’s recent arrest is a setback.

“The court process last time was so traumatizing, just knowing we're going to have to go through all of that again is putting me in a state of panic,” Hayes said.

Kristen Aul no longer practices as a doula after her experience with Braun.

“She was my first client when I was trying to certify and it kind of just ruined the whole experience for me,” Aul said.

Braun’s matter was briefly addressed in Hamilton court on Friday, with a next date set for May 14.

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