The Latest: Kids of woman in abuse case on YouTube channel

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MARICOPA, Ariz. (AP) — The Latest on an Arizona woman arrested on allegations of abusing adopted children (all times local):

3 p.m.

YouTube has terminated a popular channel operated by an Arizona woman arrested on allegations she abused her seven adopted children, at least some of whom appeared on the show.

The channel was taken down by mid-afternoon Wednesday leaving a message that said it had violated YouTube’s community guidelines.

YouTube said earlier in the day it had suspended the channel’s money-making ability upon learning about the arrest and additional action was possible including termination.

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Machelle Hobson was arrested on allegations she disciplined her adopted children with pepper spray or by locking them in a closet without food, water or access to a bathroom at their home south of Phoenix.

The 48-year-old remained jailed Wednesday on $200,000 bond. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney.

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2:15 p.m.

A neighbor of an Arizona woman accused of abusing her seven adopted children says the kids appeared unhappy one of the few times she saw them.

Sarisa Fragua, who lives two doors down from the Maricopa home of 48-year-old Machelle Hobson, said Wednesday that she rarely saw the woman or the children.

But last summer, Fragua says one of the woman’s adult sons was filming a video with the children on a pathway behind her backyard.

According to Fragua, the children seemed withdrawn anytime they weren’t being filmed. She thought it was odd but never saw anything that seemed abusive.

Authorities say Hobson used pepper spray to discipline the children and locked them inside a closet for days.

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The children appear in a popular series of videos on the YouTube channel.

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1:20 p.m.

The Arizona Department of Child Safety says it removed the children from the home of a woman with a popular YouTube channel who was arrested on suspicion of abusing her seven adopted kids.

The state agency said it took the children from 48-year-old Machelle Hobson’s home Thursday, one day before her arrest. It cited confidentiality laws in declining to answer questions about Hobson, including whether it had prior contacts with her or prior complaints.

Hobson’s last name was initially listed in court records as Hackney, but the Pinal County Attorney’s Office says it has since been corrected.

Hobson’s channel has millions of views. She also has related Instagram and Facebook accounts.

A police report released Wednesday says the children say they were disciplined with pepper spray or locked in a closet without food or water if they did not perform in the videos as directed.

It’s not known if Hobson has an attorney.

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This story corrects arrested woman’s last name to Hobson.

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11:25 a.m.

A YouTube channel of an Arizona woman arrested on suspicion of abusing her seven adopted children shows them in simple skits about a kid stealing cookies or a little boy with super powers.

The channel that authorities say 48-year-old Machelle Hobson runs has millions of views. She also has related Instagram and Facebook accounts.

A police report released Wednesday says the children say they were disciplined with pepper spray or locked in a closet without food or water if they did not perform in the videos as directed.

Two adult sons of Hobson were arrested on allegations of failing to report child abuse.

Hobson and the two grown sons remained in jail on Wednesday. It was unknown if any of the three have attorneys.

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9:20 a.m.

Arizona authorities say two adult sons of a woman arrested on allegations of using pepper spray to discipline her seven younger adopted children are being held on suspicion of failing to report abuse of a minor.

A police statement released Wednesday says Logan and Ryan Hackney were booked into jail.

Authorities said their mother Machelle Hobson disciplined the adopted children by locking them in a closet for days without food, water or bathroom access. The kids were featured on her popular YouTube channel.

A police report says officers arriving at the house in the small city of Maricopa south of Phoenix found six of the children appeared malnourished and underweight.

It was not immediately clear if the 48-year-old mother or her two grown sons had an attorney.

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8 a.m.

Arizona authorities say a woman has been arrested on allegations of using pepper spray to discipline her seven adopted children and locking them for days inside a closet.

A police report says Machelle Hobson’s adopted children had no food, water or access to a bathroom for days while inside the closet at her home in the small city of Maricopa south of Phoenix.

The report says that officers who went to the house last week reported that six of the children appeared malnourished and underweight.

Hobson was being held at the Pinal County Jail on suspicion of two counts of molestation of a child, seven counts of child abuse and five counts of unlawful imprisonment and child neglect.

It was unclear Tuesday whether 48-year-old Hobson had a lawyer.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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