Parents lose custody of kids amid probe of YouTube 'pranks'

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Only once he'd calmed down did Martin let him know it was a prank - to which Cody did not respond. The Youtube channel has about 762,000 subscribers. In one clip, the Martins scream at Cody, accusing him of spilling ink on their bedroom floor.

In others, Cody is kicked between the legs, thrown off a chair or pushed into a bookshelf by his step-siblings or his dad.

Dr. Ziegler says there may be an issue with consent as well - because in one of the videos the child says "stop recording me" - and his wishes were not listened to.

The ink prank is just one of many tricks the Martins pulled on their children - further videos showed them screaming at or pushing the kids, particularly targeting Cody.

But as the questions around their behaviour grew, the couple became remorseful.

In the apology the couple said it has been the worst week of their lives.

Mike and Heather still insisted that the kids were in on the pranks and that they were often eager to see how many views the videos could get.

"They're doing good and they're getting back to their playful selves", Rose stated.

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The firm said it did not condone "some of the content" posted to the YouTube channel, but said that the Martins "now fully understand that they crossed the line and they describe how what started out as family fun quickly escalated into shock value for the objective of viewership and subscriptions". "I swear to God I didn't do that".

Previously Martin had claimed that numerous videos were faked and planned in advance, though as criticism was gathering pace towards the end of April, he did release a statement on Twitter claiming that they were discussing "different alternatives for our future videos", - a change of tone from a video where he previously complained that critics were merely "haters".

The mother's attorney says local police and court were instrumental in reuniting Hall with her children. Rose Hall also thanked the YouTube community for calling out and bringing attention to the alleged abuse of her children.

"I was about to flip out and start breaking things", Cody confesses.

On Tuesday, the couple, Mike and Heather Martin, lost custody of the kids, 9-year-old Cody and 11-year-old Emma.

According to New York Magazine, the parents were earning roughly $350,000 per year from their popular channel, from which the incriminating videos have since been deleted.

"It was just a flat-out horrendous thing to do to children", wrote a columnist for PhillyVoice, condemning the video. Now, the parents of five children are losing custody of two of those children.