FLORENCE — The 47-year-old Maricopa mother accused of abusing her children who starred on a popular YouTube video series was released on her own recognizance Wednesday morning.
Machelle Hobson’s defense attorney, Joshua Wallace, asked Pinal County Superior Court Judge Delia Neal for her release without bond due to “her current condition.”
While it wasn’t discussed openly in court, some believe Hobson is having health issues.
Pinal County prosecutors did not object to the motion.
Hobson is charged with 30 felony counts due to an indictment by a Pinal County grand jury after her adopted children reported being severely disciplined for not performing well in YouTube videos produced out of the family’s home.
Hobson’s arrest made national news and resulted in YouTube deactivating her popular channel of adventure videos.
One of the conditions of her release was not to have contact with any of her natural or adopted children related to the case. The children alleged to have been abused are not living in her home.
Hobson is scheduled to appear back in Superior Court on July 24 for a Rule 11 hearing to determine if she is competent to stand trial.
On March 25, the grand jury indicted Hobson on several counts of child abuse, kidnapping and aggravated assault. The offenses range between Class 2 and Class 6 felonies. Some of the crimes have been categorized as “dangerous crimes against children,” a distinction that carries tougher penalties under Arizona law.
Hobson’s indictment lists specific allegations of abuse. They include hitting a child with a clothes hanger, hitting and spitting at them in the face, and causing their teeth to decay.
One of the counts accuses Hobson of pinching a child’s genitals for a prolonged period, causing them to bleed.
One count of child abuse with the “dangerous” distinction has a maximum prison sentence of 24 years.
The five juvenile victims alleged they would be kept in a closet for long periods of time without access to food or a bathroom.
They further accused Hobson of dousing them with pepper spray and dunking their heads under water.