Back in 2017, Kanghua Ren tricked a homeless man into eating Oreos filled with toothpaste. On Friday, 31 May 2019, he was sentenced to 15 months in jail and ordered to pay USD22,300.
The 21-year-old, who is originally from China but resides in Barcelona, Spain, and goes by ReSet on YouTube, filmed himself removing the cream from inside Oreo biscuits and replacing it with toothpaste. Kanghua, who was 19 at the time, then handed them to a 52-year-old homeless man named Gheorge L. along with 20 euros.
The "prank" video published in January 2017 on his channel has since been removed.
A court in Barcelona found Kanghua guilty of an offence against moral integrity, with the judge ordering him to delete his channels, stay off YouTube for five years and pay the USD22,300 fine to the victim in compensation, as part of his punishment.
Kanghua's 15-month jail sentence, however, will not be carried out
According to a report in South China Morning Post (SCMP), the YouTuber is not likely to have to serve any jail time as the criminal justice system in Spain doesn't implement sentences of up to two years for first-time offenders in non-violent crimes.
The judge, however, called Kanghua’s actions "a clear and unequivocal act of vexatious content", adding that the toothpaste caused "physical suffering" to Gheorge L.
Court documents showed that in the now-deleted video of the prank, Kanghua tells his followers, "Maybe I went a little far, but let's look at the positive side, it will help him clean his teeth, I don't think he has often brushed his teeth since he became poor."
The toothpaste Oreo cookie caused Gheorge to vomit, with him telling Spanish newspaper El Pais he had "never been treated so poorly while living on the street."
The YouTuber, who made about USD2,500 in advertising from the video, initially tried to pay off his victim to bury the whole thing
According to a report in SegmentNext, the YouTuber attempted to film two more videos involving the victim, the first having him try and claim no one would have cared if he had done it to a "normal" person, and the next attempting to spend the night with him.
Kanghua went back to see the man and gave him another 20 euros, and in a message accompanying his new video, he told his followers, "If I had done this with a normal person, no one would have said a thing, but as he is a beggar people are complaining."
He then tried to stop Gheorge from making a complaint in exchange for USD335.
Authorities in Barcelona said that the Chinese-born, who was among the 200 most influential Spanish-speakers on YouTube, targeted other vulnerable people in other videos on his channels
The authorities said that Kanghua earned money through advertising from those videos.
In the trial, Kanghua defended his actions saying, "I do things for showmanship, people like anything morbid," according to the SCMP report.