A woman who has been running a YouTube channel featuring children is accused of using pepper spray to discipline her seven adopted children and locking them in a closet for days without food, water or access to a bathroom.
The AP reports that Machelle Hobson, who is behind the Fantastic Adventures YouTube channel, was arrested Friday along with two of her adult sons. Hobson lives outside Phoenix.
Officers who went to the house March 13 reported that children appeared to be malnourished, according to the AP report. The seven children were removed from the home the following day by the Arizona Department of Child Safety.
“Hobson has four biological children who are adults and seven adopted children. Authorities haven’t identified the gender of the younger children, but Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said they ranged in age from 3 to 15,” the AP reports, adding: “One of Hobson’s adult daughters spoke with police a week ago about an allegation that her younger sister had been abused, prompting authorities to make a welfare check at the home.”
YouTube reportedly terminated the channel Wednesday, posting a message saying the channel had violated YouTube’s community guidelines.
The Fantastic Adventures account appears to remain active on Facebook.
“Police said the children were taken out of school so they could keep filming the video series and hadn’t been back in school for years, according to court records,” the AP reports, adding: “Hobson, 48, remained jailed Wednesday on a $200,000 bond on suspicion of two counts of molestation of a child, seven counts of child abuse and five counts of unlawful imprisonment and child neglect.”