A Maryland YouTuber couple who pranked their children in their “DaddyOFive” videos were found guilty of child neglect and sentenced to five years of supervised probation on Monday, WTOP reported.
Mike and Heather Martin each entered Alford guilty pleas to misdemeanor neglect. The judge sentenced the couple to five consecutive years in prison before suspending the sentence.
Heather is the step-mother of Mike’s 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son, who were both pranked in the YouTube videos in a manner that a psychologist said resulted in their emotional trauma, according to prosecutor Lindy Angel.
“We’re in a new era with social media,” said defense attorney Stephen Tully to WTOP. “They have to learn the things that are appropriate and not appropriate, particularly with children.”
The couple’s children are currently in foster care. Mike and Heather Martin agreed to have no contact with the two without court approval.
The Martins also cannot post public photos or videos of the children to social media.
In one of the videos the Martins shared to social media, they falsely accuse the 9-year-old boy of damaging his room, according to the Frederick News-Post. In another, they tell the boy that he is going to be living away from home. In both instances, the boy becomes visibly upset by these “pranks.”