A malevolent YouTube prank on a homeless man has resulted in an influencer being sentenced to prison. Last week, a YouTube star tricked a homeless man into eating toothpaste-filled Oreos and now he has been sentenced for his prank.
In January 2017, Kanghua Ren took out the cream filling in Oreo cookies and replaced it with toothpaste. The then-19-year-old Kanghua gave the toothpaste-filled Oreos to a homeless man in Barcelona, Spain. Ren filmed the encounter and uploaded the video to his YouTube channel called “ReSet” that has over 1.2 million subscribers. ReSet was among the 200 most popular YouTubers in Spain and Latin America.
The homeless man, only identified as 52-year-old Gheorge L. from Romania, allegedly vomited after he ate the cookie. The man said that he had “never been treated so poorly while living on the street.”
In the video, Ren said the prank “may have gone a bit far,” and added that “will help clean his teeth — I don’t think he has cleaned them since he became poor.”
Kanghua gave the man about $22 when he filmed the prank. Then later when the video went viral, Ren reportedly offered the homeless man’s daughter approximately $330 for her to drop the lawsuit.
Judge Rosa Aragonés said the toothpaste caused “physical suffering” to the homeless man and called Kanghua’s actions “a clear and unequivocal act of vexatious content,” The Chinese-born Ren was found guilty by a Barcelona court of violating the homeless man’s moral integrity for the stunt in the now-deleted video. The court ruled that Ren was banned from YouTube and other social media accounts for five years.
Prosecutors originally charged Ren with a crime against moral integrity, a crime that is punishable with up to a two-year prison sentence. Ren has been sentenced to 15 months in prison. However, custodial sentences of less than two years are generally suspended for first-time offenders in Spain. That means that Ren probably won’t spend a day in jail.
Kanghua was also fined 20,000 euros equal to about $22,500 in “moral damages.” The toothpaste Oreo prank video made $2,475 in advertising on YouTube according to court documents.
“I do things to put on a show,” Kanghua told the court. “People like sick things.”