Michael Martin, Heather Martin Lose Custody Over “Prank” Videos

Local media in Baltimore are reporting that Michael Martin and Heather Martin have temporarily lost custody of their two youngest children. The loss of custody appears to have resulted from legal action taken by the children’s biological mother, Rose Hall. The handover was reportedly made Friday.

Michael Martin and his wife, Heather Martin, had come under increasing scrutiny in recent days after some homemade videos became public. In the videos, the adults are seen–in their words–playing pranks on their children that many viewers found emotionally, psychologically and physically abusive.

The couple, which posted under the YouTube handle DaddyO5, apologized in another video but their tearful explanations have done little to assuage their viewers’ concerns that they may be unfit parents. Even after the apology video, viewers seemed to overwhelmingly side against them, with some mincing no words as they labeled the couple “child abuser” and accused them of doing irreparable harm to the kids.

In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, the biological mother of the two children says that she reported the alleged abuse to officials in her home state of North Carolina back in October but was told law enforcement could do nothing because of jurisdictional issues. (Why she did not immediately report her concerns to Maryland law enforcement was not disclosed.)

All of the allegedly abusive DaddyO5 videos have been pulled from the couple’s YouTube page. Many are, however, still widely available, on other websites.

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