The couple behind the disgusting YouTube prank channel “DaddyOFive” have been charged with child neglect, stemming from controversial videos on their channel that showed them “pranking” their children. Michael and Heather Martin, of Ijamsville, Maryland, have each been charged with two counts of neglect of a minor.
Prosecutors allege that the Martins neglected two of their children, Cody and Emma, between November 2016 and April 2017. The children were routinely used as pawns in the couple’s popular prank videos. In one video, Michael and Heather accuse Cody of spilling ink on the carpet, and scream at and berate him while he cries. Heather then reveals that it’s invisible ink, and he was being “pranked”.
They would scream at their kids until they cried, and then post the videos on their YouTube channel DaddyOFive for likes and fame.
Public outrage swelled after the ink video, and the couple removed most of the videos from the DaddyOFive page. Following the uproar, they issued a public apology, which was shared on their page, and remains up to this day.
In April 2017, the couple lost custody of Cody and Emma, who were placed with their biological mother, Rose Hall. PEOPLE reached out to Hall and her attorney following the announcement of the neglect charges, but both declined to comment, citing a gag order preventing them from speaking to the media.
The couple have apparently reached a plea deal on the neglect charges, with a hearing scheduled for September 11th.
The DaddyOFive channel posted a video last month, assuring fans (they still have fans?) that new content was on the way. Viewers are being redirected to a new channel, MommyOFive, which features videos of these two parents of the year pranking each other. Instead of, you know, helpless kids.
The maximum sentence for the charges in 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Here’s hoping the judge throws the book at both of them.
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(Image: YouTube / DaddyOFive)