Mom Who Created Popular YouTube Series Charged With Torturing Her Adopted 7 Children
The YouTube channel has now been removed, and a message on the page says that the user’s account has been terminated for violating community guidelines.
MARICOPA, AZ — An Arizona woman who created the popular YouTube channel “Fantastic Adventures” has been arrested and charged with abusing her seven adoptive children, according to ABC15.
Maricopa police say that Machelle Hobson, 48, allegedly forced her children to act in her YouTube sketch videos and starved and beat them when they refused.
On March 13, Hobson's biological daughter told police that her mother had left the children in locked closets for days at a time with no food or water. When investigators searched the home, they allegedly found a child in a closet wearing only a pull-up diaper.
Police say the children, who ranged in age from 6 to 15 years old, appeared pale and malnourished. One of the children told police: "I either get beat with a hanger or belt, or a brush, or get pepper sprayed from head to toe.” The children also described being forced to take ice baths, according to police.
Police say Hobson, who homeschooled the children, forced them to participate in the popular YouTube series — and that they were punished if they forgot their lines or refused. The channel had over 700,000 subscribers and had racked up over 240 million views.
Hobson’s two biological sons, Logan and Ryan Hackney, were also arrested and face charges for failing to report abuse. Logan reportedly said that he knew about the physical abuse and would sneak food to the younger children, but admitted that he never went to police.
Hobson denied using pepper spray and ice baths, according to police paperwork. She claimed that the only forms of punishment she uses are spanking and grounding.
Hobson has been charged with two counts of molestation of a child, seven counts of child abuse, five counts of unlawful imprisonment, and five counts of child neglect. She is being held at Pinal County Jail.
Logan and Ryan have been charged with seven counts each of failing to report abuse of a minor.
YouTube told ABC15 that the company demonetized Hobson's channel once they learned of her arrest. The channel has now been removed, and a message on the page says that the user’s account has been terminated for violating community guidelines.
The Arizona Department of Child Services has stated that the children were removed from Hobson's home. They declined to give further details, citing the ongoing investigation.
Read more: ABC15