YouTubers sentenced for child neglect
Last spring, Michael Martin, the father behind the YouTube channel ‘DaddyOFive’ lost custody of his two children he constantly featured on his YouTube “prank” channel. Now, he and his wife Heather have been sentenced to five years probation on charges of child neglect.
According to BuzzFeed News, the couple has each been charged with two counts of child neglect.
The couple manned the YouTube channel which featured videos of their kids being taunted, pranked, and abused. Yes, abused. Physically. The Martins have a blended family — and the videos featured all the kids; Mike’s son Cody and daughter Emma, and Heather’s three sons. But it was Cody who seemed to bear the brunt of the cruelest pranks, often appearing outraged — and even crying to the camera. In one particular prank that outraged the internet last spring, the family destroys his electronics while he looks on — crying and panicked. He rarely looked like he was in on the joke, or having any fun whatsoever. And he could hardly be blamed for his reactions. The videos were abusive as hell.
“After the Martins and their five children underwent psychological evaluations, it was found that two of the children, 10-year-old Cody and 11-year-old Emma, suffered ‘mental injury’ as a result of the videos,” Buzzfeed reports.
The terms of their probation dictate the couple are not allowed to have contact with Cody or Emma unless a judge allows it. And of course, they are not allowed to post videos of Cody and Emma to any social media channels.
According to New York Magazine, the couple made approximately $200,000 to $350,000 annually from the channel. They have over 700,000 subscribers to their channel — which is information that would make any decent person want to set their computer on fire. 700,000 subscribers to a channel that regularly berated, abused, and humiliated children. Wonderful.
The couple certainly doesn’t seem ready or willing to give up their means of income — now they are trying to shift their focus to pranking each other on their new MommyOFive channel. Yes, it’s as dumb as it sounds. If there were any justice in the world, these two would’ve been banned from the internet, forever.
Is that too much to ask?
“The Martins are taking this very seriously,” the couple’s lawyer told Buzzfeed News, adding that “the prosecution did not want the children to go through a trial.”