Maryland couple, Mike and Heather Martin, are best known for their infamous YouTube channel, “DaddyOFive.”
They have faced much backlash for their prank videos, with many viewers criticizing their stunts as child abuse.Screenshot/YouTube
The couple made more than 300 videos together. Before the videos were deleted from YouTube, the Martins were heavily berated for picking on their children to the point of tears. Cody, one of the younger Martin siblings, often seemed to be the butt of every joke.
In one particular video, called “INVISIBLE INK PRANK (EPIC FREAKOUT)” his parents poured invisible ink on the carpet before shouting at him, ascribing the blame to him. Cody, terrified by the expletives being shouted at him by both parents, immediately burst into tears, avidly denying the allegations. He repeatedly cried out:
“I swear to god I didn’t do that!”
In another video, after learning a cruel joke was “just a prank, bruh,” Cody shouted:
“So you all made me go through all this, just for a stupid prank?! I’m tired of this.”
Other videos depicted Mike ordering one sibling to slap another, because, “she’s your sister, she don’t count [as abuse].”Screenshot/YouTube
Once the videos went viral and were exposed to millions of viewers, the Martin family was called out for being abusive.
While they initially tried to brush off the critics by saying the backlash was from “haters” who were jealous, the couple eventually had to issue an apology. However, Independent Journal Review previously reported that these efforts were “too little, too late.”
Since then, the couple has attempted to issue a more-sincere apology:
Heather spoke out in a lengthy YouTube video saying:
“We just wanted our kids to be happy. They wanted to be on YouTube and we wanted them to be happy. And we see now the mistakes and judgment that we have made.”
However, again, the apology was deemed not enough. YouTubers took to the comment section to call out the mother of five:Screenshot/YouTube Screenshot/YouTube
Now, after months of criticism, the Martin couple is facing charges in Frederick County Circuit Court. According to the Frederick News Post, “Prosecutors are pursuing two counts of neglect of a minor.”
The report alleges that Mike and Heather neglected both Cody and Emma Martin “between November 2016 and April 2017.”Screenshot/YouTube
During this time, these two children were removed from Mike and Heather’s care and placed with their birth mother, Rose Hall.
The Martins are scheduled for their plea hearing on September 11. According to the Frederick News Post, the “maximum possible sentence for the charges is five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.”