A “sick” YouTube star has been handed a 15-month prison sentence after he made a video tricking a homeless person into eating Oreo cookies filled with toothpaste and then joking that they cleaned his teeth for the first time “since he became poor.”
21-year-old YouTuber Kanghua Ren, creator of the popular channel ReSet, was also ordered to pay the homeless man more than $22,000 USD for “moral damages.”
Newsweek reports: In the now-deleted video, the Barcelona-based prankster filmed himself filling the cookies with toothpaste before repackaging them and handing them over to a 52-year-old homeless man, named by authorities as Gheorge L.
As the homeless man ate the oreos and toothpaste foam began pouring from his mouth, Kanghua remarked, “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.“
The cookie caused Gheorge L., originally from Romania, to vomit. He later told Spanish newspaper El Pais he had “never been treated so poorly while living on the street.”
The YouTuber went back to visit Gheorge L. to record another video, saying on camera, “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.”
Him and a friend then visited the homeless man a third time for another video in which they planned to spend the night with him, but a witness called the police.
Kanghua, whose videos attract millions of views, made $2,475 in advertising from the video, according to court documents seen by El Pais.
Kanghua was charged with a crime against moral integrity, but his 15-month prison sentence will not be carried out as he has no prior criminal record. At the ruling, the judge called Kanghua’s actions “a clear and unequivocal act of vexatious content” and that the toothpaste the homeless person ate caused “physical suffering.”
He must also pay 20,000 euros ($22,305) to the victim in compensation, according to El Pais.