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Creator of the YouTube channel, abused 7 adopted children who played in videos viewed by millions, police say

Machelle Hackney, 48, is accused of abusing her seven adopted children and forcing them to star in videos posted on the YouTube channel “Amazing Adventures.”
(Pinal County Sheriff’s Office)

An Arizona woman of the seven children who were adopted were a hit run on her YouTube channel “Amazing Adventures” — which had nearly 800,000 followers — but behind the camera, the 48-year-old woman, the beat kids, they are doused with pepper spray and locked in a closet for days without food, water or bathroom, according to court documents.

Machelle Hackney was arrested last Friday at her home in Maricopa — where the alleged abuse of her adopted children has occurred — on charges of child abuse, child abuse, unlawful punishment, and child neglect. Hackney’s two sons, Logan and Ryan Hackney, were also arrested for not reporting abuse of a minor, FOX10 Phoenix reported.

The authorities started the investigation of the hackneys, who on March 13, when they received a report about the abuse of children in the household. A person contacted the police said her adoptive sister was pepper sprayed, locked in the cabinet, also known as the ‘green screen’ space for days without food, water or access to a bathroom, court documents stated. The individual said her six other brothers and sisters were allegedly also abused in the same way.

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The police conducted a welfare check on Hackney’s house and had a child wearing only a pull-up diaper in a cabinet with a lock. The other six children in the house appeared to be malnourished.

Hackney’s two sons, Logan and Ryan Hackney, were also arrested for not reporting abuse of a minor.
(Pinal County Sheriff’s Office)

The children, who were removed from the house, later detailed researchers the alleged torture they endured in the house, including being soaked in pepper spray from head-to-toe, beaten and forced to the ice baths, FOX10 reported. Hackney would reportedly dunk of the children the head underwater when they disobeyed, and they are forced to stand in the corner with their arms up above their head for a few hours.

“I get beat with a pendant, or belt, or brush, or get pepper-sprayed from head to toe, is” one of the children told the police, according to court documents.

Two of the children told authorities Hackney sometimes grabbed and injured their private parts. A girl called up because the pain for four to five days, the documents stated.

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Authorities say that the adopted children not in the school for Hackney she needed for her popular YouTube videos, which are more than 250 million views by Wednesday. The children said Hackney would discipline if they did not remember their lines or perform the way they wanted to.

On the “Fantastic Adventures” YouTube channel that began in 2012, the children were painted in a very different light, while the acting out of an extended 10-15 minute sketches. They are spotted sometimes eat, talk about homework, playing games in a fantasy world, made up by Hackney. The show’s Instagram page showed pictures of the children smiling, and in February a post, talked about a girl’s journey from foster care to Hackney’s house.

Logan Hackney admitted his mother had abused the children and locked away in the cupboard for a long period of time. Hackney had denied the abuse allegations and said that they only punished the children by making them stand in the corner, spanking and grounding, FOX10 reported.

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YouTube said in a statement to the Arizona Republic that Hackney’s canal was demonetized after her arrest. The channel will be taken if they are convicted or plead guilty to the felony charges.

“We take the safety on YouTube very seriously,” the statement read. “We work closely with leading child safety organizations, and others in our industry for the protection of young people. When we are made aware of the serious allegations of this nature that we take measures, including the suspension of the generation of income, or at the conclusion of an investigation, the end of the channels.”

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