Machelle Hackney, 48, the creator of popular YouTube channel "Fantastic Adventures," has been arrested after police, searching her apartment, found extensive evidence that she abused her children.
She was charged with "two counts of child molestation, seven counts of child abuse, five counts of unlawful imprisonment and five counts of child neglect."
Abuse Claims Made Against 'Fantastic Adventures' Mom www.youtube.com
Responding to a tip from Hackney's biological daughter, police arrived at the YouTuber's home on March 13 for a welfare check.
Reports indicate that they discovered the children at the house to be "malnourished and underweight."
@ABC7Chicago This is why children probably shouldn’t be allowed/ featured on YouTube channels or considered content… https://t.co/2UCKOBxrWa— M.Lozi (@M.Lozi)1553147112.0
One child was reportedly so thirsty that he drank three 16-ounce bottles of water in 20-minutes.
A little girl was offered a bag of chips but, despite her hunger, refused to eat it because she feared her mother would smell the chips on her breath.
Police allege Machelle Hackney beat her adopted children, withheld food and water from them, covered them with pepp… https://t.co/WSKSDEqNzV— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt)1553133600.0
Officers also discovered a child locked in a closet wearing nothing but a pull-up diaper. The children told the investigators that their mother would often pepper-spray them (sometimes putting on a mask to protect herself first) before locking them in a closet for days with no food, water, or bathroom access.
A young girl claimed her mother had once pepper-sprayed her in the vagina, which would continue to burn for days.
@MarcyJonesFox10 @FOX10Phoenix They need to throw away jail key.— Kathleen Smith (@Kathleen Smith)1553101767.0
As if her behavior wasn't already cruel enough, the police would also discover that Hackney forced the children to take ice baths, pushing their heads underwater if they tried to resist.
One male child told the police that Hackney would beat him with "hangers, belts, and brushes" and that she had also, at one point, used her fingernails to pinch the tip of his penis so hard it drew blood.
Please unsubscribe from Fantastic Adventures. Stop supporting the sexual, emotional, physical abuse, and exploitati… https://t.co/cZPzhd1cVQ— STOP CHILD ABUSE (@STOP CHILD ABUSE)1553097759.0
Multiple children told stories of how Hackney had forced them to stand in a corner with their arms above their head, saying they would be "violently pinched if they moved at all."
Police removed the children from the home and they are being kept in protective custody.
THESE ARE MS MACHELLE HACKNEY'S FORCED VIDEOS "THE fantastic ADVENTURES" SERIES AND MANY OTHER TITLES/SERIES. SHE… https://t.co/n2Jrww4oAC— Bluemist60 (@Bluemist60)1553097255.0
The children were forced, under threat of physical abuse, to participate in Hackney's YouTube channel "Fantastic Adventures," which has been viewed 240 million times since it began in 2012. The children said they would be punished for not remembering lines or following Hackney's instructions.
The children were all reportedly pulled out of school at a young age so they could participate in more YouTube videos.
@AriWRees @ms_peaceweaver Good Lord....— Francisco R. Ruiz (@Francisco R. Ruiz)1553126321.0
@AriWRees Wow. How depraved and awful.— Perrkj (@Perrkj)1553114406.0
@AriWRees So, so gross.— Rachel Hunt Steenblik (@Rachel Hunt Steenblik)1553125789.0
@ajplus What gets me is how popular her videos were and how cruel they were as well as people condoning her behavior— Jill Joiner (@Jill Joiner)1553104176.0
YouTube commented on Hackney's arrest:
"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."
@MissInforms Her daughter reported it. Two adult sons living in the house, one of whom, Logan, has reportedly confi… https://t.co/NDQXpuebaC— T.Jones (@T.Jones)1553155889.0
"Fantastic Adventures" has been removed from YouTube and Hackney's two adult sons have also been arrested under charges of "failing to report abuse."
ABC 15 reported that the Department of Child Safety had previously been called to the house at least 5 times, but failed to make any arrests or confiscate any children.
Now, one can only hope Hackney's children are being taken care of with the love they deserve.