YouTuber who tricked homeless man into eating Oreos filled with toothpaste to 'clean his teeth' jailed for 15 months
A YouTube star and prankster who played a cruel joke on a homeless man has landed himself in jail for a 15-month spell. A Barcelona court on Friday, May 31, ordered Kanghua Ren to additionally pay $22,300 in compensation.
As reported by The New York Times, Ren is a first-time offender and Spanish law usually suspends prison time for those who are sentenced to less than two years. However, the court ordered that Ren's accounts on YouTube as well as other social media platforms be suspended for around five years. Ren whose online name is RetSet filmed himself playing the cruel prank in January 2017.
In the video, he was seen replacing the white filling in a packet of biscuits with toothpaste and then re-packaging it. The 19-year-old then handed the biscuit packet to a homeless person named Gheorge L whom he had found on the streets of Barcelona. The 53-year-old Gheorge shared that he felt very sick and threw up around five minutes after eating the biscuits.
He also feared for his life as he did know RetSet or what was in the biscuit packet. In the video, RetSet can be heard saying, "Maybe I've gone a bit far, but look at the positive side: This will help him clean his teeth. I think he hasn't cleaned them since he became poor."
RetSet had earned around $2,200 through his advertising revenue on his channel which has more than a million subscribers, according to court documents seen by El Pais. The YouTuber was then charged with a "crime against moral integrity" with prosecutors initially seeking a two-year jail term and restitution to Gheorge. RetSet received a lot of backlash for his video.
He later returned to meet Gheorge to ask him how he had liked the toothpaste Oreos and said, "People exaggerate over jokes in the street (played) on a beggar, when surely if it's done to a normal person they wouldn't say anything." He eventually deleted the videos and then offered Gheorge $380 to keep quiet so that he could "re-establish his image" and "ingratiate himself with public opinion".
Gheorge shared that no one had ever treated him so badly in all his time on the street. The court also heard that in other pranks, RetSet had filled sandwiches with cat feces and had fed them to schoolchildren as well as elderly people. He defended himself in court saying, "I do things to mount a show: People like what is morbid." The judge Rosa Aragonés shared, "This was not an isolated act," while handing down her verdict.
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