Behind the scenes, though, the children told a different story. A welfare check last week found the home was a day of abuse in which their mother would forbid food and water for days at a time, pepper-spray them, force them to take ice baths and lock them in a barren closet, according to a
"They stated they are disciplined in the manners above if they do not recall their lines or do not participate (in the videos) as they are directed to," the probable cause statement said .
"They further said this is one of the reasons their mother took them out of school so they can keep filming their series and they have not been in school for years."
Police on Friday arrested their mother, Machelle Hackney, 48, two counts of child molestation, seven counts of child abuse, five counts of child neglect and five counts of illegal imprisonment.
Her adult sons, Logan and Ryan Hackney, were also arrested Friday. They make seven charges each. They are accused of failing to report the abuse of a minor.
The three are being held without bonds.
In the police report, Hackney said the closet in her room is never used for punishment, and denied the accusations involving pepper spray and ice baths. (1
What a welfare check found
Hackney's YouTube channel posts a new video about once a week and boasts nearly 800,000 subscribers. With the titles like "THE FLOOR IS LAVA!" and "Escape The Babysitter!" each of the 10 to 15-minute episodes features the family of cute children in lightsaber battles, turning into superheroes or attempting to steal cookies
The statement of probable cause details that a welfare officers made to home on March 13 after receiving a tip from an adult daughter, who said one of the children said they were being abused.
During the welfare check, one child was found in an unlocked closet, which has a locking mechanism, wearing only a pull-up diaper, the statement said, adding that the other six children appeared to be malnourished. They said they had pale skin, dark rings under their eyes, they were underweight and they said they were thirsty and hungry
According to the probable cause statement, one of the children drank three 16-ounce bottles of water within 20 minutes and said he had been sprayed several times as a punishment by his mother. Another child said she was extremely hungry and was given a bag of chips on the scene. However, she was afraid to eat the chips because she did not want her mother to smell them on her breath, the statement said.
The Department of Child Safety then removed the seven children from their mother's custody. (19659002) In follow-up interviews, one child told about how they did it. were kept locked in a closet for days at a time with no food, water or restroom. They also were pepper sprayed all over their face and body, spanked, forced to take ice baths, and forced to stand in the corner with their arms raised for several hours at a time, the statement said.
"I either get beat with a hanger or belt "or a brush," one child said, "or get pepper sprayed from head to toe," according to the statement.
The child also said his mother would pinch the tip of his penis with her fingernails until she would bleed. Another child said she had been pepper sprayed on her vagina and recalled being in pain for four to five days, the statement said.  YouTube confirmed the channel was demonetized after the company was notified about the arrest