WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The seven adopted children of Machelle Hackney of the YouTube channel “Fantastic Adventures” were allegedly found to be abused and neglected by their mother for several years.
- Hackney, 48, was arrested for child abuse and molestation, together with her two sons who were aware yet failed to report the abuse.
- The children told police that Hackney would punish them for forgetting their lines, douse them with pepper spray and lock them in closets without food for days.
“Fantastic Adventures” is a hit YouTube channel that began in 2012. It features Machelle Hackney’s 7 adopted kids, who act out 10-15 minute skits with topics ranging from homework to food or one sibling’s journey from foster care to being adopted. The kids were all shown smiling and having fun.
However, away from the cameras, these kids are beaten, doused with pepper spray, locked in a closet for several days without food, water or access to the bathroom by their adoptive mother, according to court statements.
On Friday, Hackney, 48, was arrested at her home in Maricopa on charges of child abuse, child molestation, unlawful punishment and child neglect. Her two sons — Logan and Ryan Hackney — were also arrested for failing to report the abuse of a minor, according to FOX10 Phoenix.
Investigation on the Hackneys began on March 13 when authorities received a call from someone who told police that her adoptive sister and six other siblings were being locked in the ‘green screen room,’ which is actually a closet, for days.
When police conducted a welfare check at Hackney’s home, they saw a child wearing only a diaper inside a closet with locks, while the 6 other children in the house all seemed malnourished.
The children told authorities about the alleged torture they suffered from Hackney, who would pepper spray them from head to toe, spank and force them to take ice baths, dunk their heads underwater when they disobeyed her and forced them to stand in the corner for several hours with their hands raised over their heads.
Court documents also stated that 2 of the children told investigators that Hackney would sometimes grab and hurt them in their private parts.
For years, the children haven’t been in school because Hackney needed them for her popular YouTube videos. Additionally, Hackney would discipline them if they didn’t perform the way she wanted.
Following Hackney’s arrest, YouTube released a statement to the Arizona Republic that her channel will be terminated if she is convicted or pleads guilty to the charges.
The statement read: “We take safety on YouTube very seriously. When we’re made aware of serious allegations of this nature we take action, which may include suspending monetization, or, upon conclusion of an investigation, terminating channels.”
Although Logan Hackney admitted that his mother abused the children, Hackney herself denied the allegations.
Source: Fox News