‘DaddyOfFive’ Parents Sentenced for Child Neglect After YouTube ‘Prank’ Videos

Internet assholes Mike and Heather Martin, who ran the disturbingly popular DaddyOfFive YouTube “prank” channel, have been sentenced to five years probation for two counts of child neglect after viewers notified police about the disgusting content of their videos.

DaddyOfFive was one of many “prank” channels on YouTube.

The Martins would pull pranks on their kids for pageviews, likes, and money. But their idea of a prank is deeply screwed up, and several of their videos just looked like child abuse.

In the videos, the Martins would scream at their kids until they cried. They pitted the kids against each other. In some, it basically looked like the Martins were encouraging their kids to hit each other. In one, Mike Martin actually shoves his son, and it looks like it causes a bloody nose. (Martin later said it wasn’t blood, it was just pen on the boy’s face. But a lot of people don’t believe it.)

It’s disgusting how popular the DaddyOfFive channel became. Who are all these viewers who think seeing kids cry is funny?

Their attacks seemed to most often target Cody, a 10-year-old boy with red hair. Cody and his sister Emma are Mike Martin’s biological children, and Heather Martin’s stepchildren. The other three kids in the house are Heather Martin’s biological children.

After news of DaddyOfFive’s channel reached authorities, the Martins lost custody of Cody and Emma, who went to live with their mother. The Martins were charged with two counts of child neglect after psychological evaluations indicated that Cody and Emma had suffered “mental injury” because of their parents’ YouTube videos. (The evaluations apparently said the other three kids did not suffer mental injury, so they are still at the house.)

Child abuse isn’t a prank

The Martins faced up to five years of prison if convicted. Now the Martins have been sentenced to five years probation. It was a negotiated plea deal. According to Buzzfeed, the Martins agreed to “a special kind of guilty plea that means that while they are not necessarily admitting what they did was legally wrong, they agreed that the state has enough evidence to prove guilt going forward.” In exchange, they got five years probation instead of risking jail time.

The terms of the probation mean the Martins cannot have any contact with Cody or Emma, and they can’t post videos of them on social media.

The Martins can still post videos of themselves and the other kids, though. They are reportedly thinking about doing that, but in a “different form” than the disgusting “prank” videos that made them famous. (Right now their channel is devoted to gaming videos. The channel has more than 720,000 subscribers, even after all this. Who wants to watch this horrible man play Resident Evil 5? This makes me want to throw my computer into a woodchipper and go raise goats in the woods for the rest of my life.)

Probation was a plea bargain

Frederick County Assistant State’s Attorney Lindy Angel told BuzzFeed that she thought the probation sentence was “in the best interest of the children.” She did not want to put the kids through a trial, and she says she thinks the parents “did not intend to injure the children,” even though she describes the videos as “horrendous.”

“It was insensitive, cruel, bad decision-making,” Angel said. “But there was no real intention behind it.”

They didn’t intend to traumatize a kid when they shoved him into a bookcase? It was definitely a bad decision to exploit their children and make them cry for YouTube money, but bad decisions to have consequences. Any reasonable adult human being would know this behavior would cause harm.

What do you think of this sentence? Let us know in the comments.

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(Image: YouTube / @DaddyOFive)

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