Frederick, Md (KM) A husband and wife from Ijamsville who were behind the “DaddyOFive” videos posted on You Tube were sentenced on Monday in Frederick County Circuit Court. Mike and Heather Martin, both 34, entered Alford pleas to two counts each of child neglect involving two minor children. The judge imposed a 10-year sentence, but suspended that. They were given five years of supervised probation. “They also have lost custody of their minor children, ages nine and 11,” says State’s Attorney Charlie Smith. “So they were taken out of that family and put in foster care pending further proceedings.”
An Alford plea means the defendants do not admit guilt, but acknowledge the State has enough evidence for a conviction.
The Martins posted more than 300 videos on You Tube which showed their kids, Cody and Emma, being abused. The two children were berated and ridiculed. One kid for damaging his room, and,.in another case, was told that he would be going to live somewhere else.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation earlier this year, and charges were filed against Mike and Heather Martin on July.27th, 2017.
The videos caused an uproar across the country, and the world. The family claims they were posted as a prank. But Smith says the children who “starred” on the videos were negatively affected. “We were able to secure evaluations from child psychologists that showed they were extremely distraught and that they endured some emotional abuse,” he said. “Based upon that, we thought both Emma and Cody were negatively impacted by these treatments and these excessive pranks.”
As part of their probation, the couple cannot post images of Emma or Cody on social media except for “family purposes.”
“They pled guilty, even though it was an Alford plea of guilt that’s something that they acknowledged that we have enough evidence of their wrongdoing to secure a conviction,”: he said. “So for us, it’s nevertheless a conviction.”
There is pending litigation between the children’s biological mother, Rose Hall, and Mike Martin.