YouTuber mum allegedly forced kids to perform with beatings and pepper spray

YouTuber mum allegedly forced kids to perform with beatings and pepper spray
Photo credit: Pinal County Sherrif's Department, YouTube/Fantastic Adventures

A mother who ran a popular YouTube channel has been charged with multiple counts of child abuse after she allegedly beat, starved and tortured her adopted kids to get them to perform.

Machelle Hackney of 'Fantastic Adventures' was arrested after Arizona police conducted a welfare check that revealed a "den of abuse," according to CNN.

A statement of probable cause from officials claims Hackney withheld food and water from her six out of seven of her adopted children who were found malnourished by police.

It is believed she also used pepper-spray on them, forced them to take ice baths and locked them in a closet. 

The 48-year-old's two biological sons were also taken into custody on charges related to failing to report abuse. Hackney has denied abusing her children.

The alleged neglect and abuse appears to have been linked to the children's involvement in the 'Fantastic Adventures' YouTube channel Hackney ran, which had over 250 million views and almost 800,000 subscribers.

A police report states one child told officers: "I either get beat [sic] with a hanger or belt," while another said he "was in the green screen room [where videos are filmed] for most of his life".

As well as discovering one child shut in a closet wearing only a diaper, police reported they found six others "who appeared to be malnourished, due to their pale complexion, dark rings under their eyes, underweight, and they stated they were thirsty and hungry".

The children reportedly had not been to school "in years". Other punishments they were reportedly subjected to included standing in a corner with their arms above their heads for hours and having their heads held under water.

The YouTube channel, which featured videos titled 'Escape The Babysitter 2! Mean Babysitter Sneaky Showdown!' and 'The Floor is Lava!' has since been terminated.

"We work closely with leading child safety organizations and others in our industry to protect young people," a spokesperson for the video-sharing website told The Post.

"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."

In 2017, a mother and father who ran the YouTube channel DaddyOFive were charged with neglect after videos showed them emotionally and physically abusing their kids.