The parents behind the controversial “DaddyOFive” YouTube videos have officially been charged with child neglect, The Frederick News Post is reporting.
Mike and Heather Martin, of Ijamsville, Maryland, each face two counts of neglect of a minor child. Authorities allege the parents neglected two of their children, Cody and Emma Martin, between November 2016 and April 2017. They will appear in court for an initial hearing on September 11.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the “DaddyOFive” YouTube channel became controversial in April/May 2017, after horrified observers started complaining about the way the parents treated the children in their channel.
Ostensibly a prank videos channel, some observers contended that the pranks crossed the line from harmless family fun at the expense of unsuspecting children, to outright child abuse.
In one video, titled “Invisible Ink Prank,” Heather spilled “ink” on the carpet. The parents then accused the kids of having spilled it, loudly berating them and even screaming obscenities. Protesting their innocence, the kids dissolved into tears. Finally, the parents, laughing, tell them it was “just a prank.”
In another, under the pretext of the “bottle flip” game, the kids are goaded into slapping each other if the person flipping the bottle fails to do it properly.
— The News Plug (@TheNewsPlug) August 12, 2017
When Rose Hall, the biological mother of 9-year-old Cody and his sister Emma, noticed the videos, she contacted authorities. The fallout for the Martins was almost immediate: their more controversial YouTube videos were deleted. Other YouTubers harshly criticized them. They lost custody of their children.
— Artarius Media (@ArtariusMedia) August 12, 2017
Now, the parents are facing criminal charges for the videos. The maximum possible sentence on each count is five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. However, according to the family’s attorney, Stephen Tully, the Martins have taken a plea agreement. However, he declined to say more because “things may change” before the couple appears in court.
For their part, the Martins have admitted that they crossed a line.
“We put things on the internet that should not be there.”
However, Heather maintains that the kids enjoyed watching how many views the prank videos got. What’s more, she maintains that the money earned from the channel allowed the Martins to spend extra money on the kids, taking them to Disney World and buying them expensive gaming consoles, according to Artarius.
Meanwhile, the Martins maintain a second YouTube channel where they play pranks on each other, but not the children.
Do you believe the DaddyOFive parents deserve jail time for their YouTube prank videos? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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