MARICOPA, Ariz. — A YouTube star was arrested after being accused of abusing her seven adoptive children if they refused to appear in her videos.
Machelle Hackney was booked into the Pinal County Jail on suspicion of two counts of molestation of a child, seven counts of child abuse and five counts each of unlawful imprisonment and child neglect.
According to ABC News, officers went by the 48-year-old’s home last Friday to conduct a welfare check after one of the children told a relative about the alleged abuse. That’s when they discovered the children were malnourished, had dark rings around their eyes, and were both thirsty and hungry.
But the allegations didn’t end there.
The children told police they were forced to take part in their mother’s videos. If they forgot their lines or didn’t listen, they were punished.
One child told police she was locked in a closet for several days and forced to wear a diaper since she was not allowed to use the restroom. Another stated the woman had sprayed her between the legs with pepper spray. She said she was in pain for several days.
Another male child said Hackney grabbed his privates and pinched him until he bled on numerous occasions.
Hackeny has a YouTube channel called “Fantastic Adventures,” which appears to feature several children. It was still up online Wednesday morning.