The Youtubers seen allegedly emotionally torturing some of their own children had their criminal sentence for child neglect reduced Tuesday by a Frederick County, Md. Judge.
The lighter sentence came even though parents Michael and Heather Martin appear to have violated conditions to stop uploading videos featuring the two children who were allegedly abused when the couple operated the popular YouTube channel DaddyOFive.
The original DaddyOFive channel was banned by YouTube. Other channels operated by the Martins were deleted in 2018 after WUSA9 reported on their content.
However, parent Michael Martin apparently continues to operate additional channels, one of which features a video uploaded in August 2018 with archival footage of allegedly abused children Cody and Emma.
The video was uploaded despite continuing 2017 probation conditions from Frederick County Maryland Circuit Court Judge Theresa M. Adams stating: “no video taping of children (Cody & Emma), No images of children on social media unless for family purposes.”
In Tuesday’s hearing Adams reiterated the conditions writing: “Shall not video/upload videos and continue removing them.”
The video apparently posted in violation of the Martins’ probation conditions features archival footage of the children celebrating the growing number of YouTube subscribers the DaddyOFive channel was attracting at the time.
The Martins have repeatedly said the children were willing participants in staged DaddyOFive “prank” videos, and that no actual abuse occurred.
The August video post included an appeal for viewers to sign a Change.org petition demanding that YouTube reinstate the banned DaddyOFive channel.
The two children in the case were removed from the couple’s custody in 2016 and now live with their biological mother who has left Maryland.
In a letter to Judge Adams before Tuesday’s sentence modification hearing, the children's’ mother alerted Judge Adams that her former husband “continues to make videos and has a paid web page making money off of children.”
Even so, Adams went on to grant a modification of the couples’ sentences from five years of supervised probation to probation before judgement, which does not include supervision and which allows the couple to seek expungement of their child neglect convictions after three years.
The Martin’s attorney Stephen Tully said he was unaware of the 2018 video upload featuring apparently archival footage of the children.
“The order was fairly specific, and I don’t think my clients have violated those orders,” Tully said.
The original DaddyOFive channel had more than 700-thousand subscribers.
Other YouTubers continue to re-post the most disturbing videos featuring the apparent emotional and physical torture of Cody at the hands of his parents and siblings.
YouTube has not responded to questions regarding the re-posting of the videos.
As an additional condition of allowing the lighter sentence Tuesday Judge Adams ordered the parents to “continue working with YouTube to remove videos.”