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Millions viewed a mom's YouTube videos starring her adopted kids. She's now accused of abusing them.

YouTube mom accused of abuse
Mom behind popular YouTube series accused of abuse 01:52

An Arizona woman has been accused of abusing her seven adopted children who starred in her YouTube videos, CBS affiliate KPHO-TV reports. Authorities learned about Machelle Hobson's alleged actions from her 19-year-old daughter, according to police in Maricopa, Arizona.

Hobson and her two adult sons, Logan and Ryan Hackney, were arrested last week, KPHO-TV reports. Hobson was booked on suspicion of molestation of a child, child abuse, unlawful imprisonment and child neglect, and the men were booked on suspicion of failing to report abuse of a minor.

When police came to the family's house, they found one child in an unlocked closet who was only wearing a diaper, according to a police report. The other six children appeared to be malnourished.

"I either get beat with a hanger or belt," one boy told police, according to the report. He also said that he would be pinched in his private parts.

Some of the children told officers that they would be punished with pepper spray. Police found two cans of pepper spray at the house.

Machelle Hobson is seen in a police booking photo provided by Pinal County Sheriff's Office in Arizona.
Machelle Hobson is seen in a police booking photo provided by Pinal County Sheriff's Office in Arizona. Pinal County Sheriff's Office via KPHO-TV

The children also told police that they would also be punished by being forced to stand in a corner with their arms above their heads for hours and take ice baths. They also said they wouldn't eat for days.

Hobson denied the allegations to police. She said that the only punishments she would use were spankings, having children stand in a corner and grounding them.

The children starred in her YouTube channel, which has racked up more than 250 million views since it was created in 2012. The channel had more than three dozen videos, the oldest of which was posted in February 2018.

YouTube terminated the channel by mid-afternoon Wednesday, with a message saying the channel had violated YouTube's community guidelines.

Earlier in the day, YouTube said it had suspended the channel's money-making capability after learning about the arrests.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article referred to Machelle Hobson by a different name, which came from court records that have since been corrected.

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