The adoptive mother of seven young children who starred on YouTube channel "Fantastic Adventures" pepper-sprayed and beat them, deprived them of food and water and grabbed their genitals to get them to perform, authorities allege.
NBC News reported that Machelle Hackney was arrested Friday along with her two adult sons. She was arraigned Tuesday on child abuse, unlawful imprisonment and child molestation charges and held without bond.
It's not clear whether she or her sons have lawyers. According to police documents, Hackney denied abusing the children, whose ages weren't released by police, and said she only spanks and grounds them or has them stand in a corner as punishment.
The "Fantastic Adventures" channel has more than 242 million views and over 700,000 followers. It was demonetized once YouTube was made aware of the arrests.