The couple behind the popular ‘DaddyOFive’ YouTube channel has been sentenced to five years probation on charges of child neglect.
The New York Daily News reports that Michael and Heather Martin, of Ijamsville, Maryland, the couple behind the infamous “DaddyOFive” YouTube channel where they posted videos of cruel “pranks” on their children, have been sentenced to five years probation on charges of child neglect. The couple was sentenced on Monday at the Frederick County Circuit Court where they entered Alford pleas, which means that the couple maintains their innocence in the case but concede that prosecutors were in possession of evidence that would likely result in a guilty verdict.
The evidence in the case comes from over 300 YouTube videos which feature the couple performing “pranks” on their youngest children. Many viewers of the videos found the parent’s actions cruel and the YouTube series received condemnation from many online. Lindy Angel, Frederick County assistant state’s attorney, stated that the investigation into the couple began in April after the county Sheriff’s Office received a tip about their YouTube channel. The videos feature the couple destroying the children’s items, verbally abusing the children and at one point, Michael Martin even shoves ten-year-old son Cody.
The couple also instruct their children to be violent towards each other, with Michael at one point instructing his stepson to hit his daughter, Emma. A neuropsychologist working with the Frederick County Child Protective Services has reportedly found observable psychological and mental damage done to the two youngest children, Cody and Emma who are Michael’s biological children. The three other children in the household are Heather Martin’s biological children and were not included in the investigation.
The couple faces a five-year suspended sentence for each charge of child neglect and under probation, they cannot contact Cody, Emma or the children’s biological mother without permission from the court. Stephen R. Tully, the Martin’s attorney, said that his client’s behaviour was negligent but not intentional and they have since learned to be more careful. Tully stated that he plans to file a motion to dismiss or reduce the Martins’ sentences or have the charges expunged from their records following adherence to their probation.