A YouTube prankster in Spain has been sentenced to 15 months in prison and given a $22,300 fine after filming himself offering a homeless man an Oreo cookie that was filled with toothpaste rather than creme.
Kanghua Ren, who is known as ReSet online, was sentenced Friday after a Barcelona court found him to have violated the moral integrity of his prank victim two years ago, Spanish news media reported.
The court also ordered Ren’s YouTube and other social media channels to be shut down for five years.
Ren, 21, is unlikely to actually serve time behind bars because Spanish law usually allows suspension of sentences of less than two years for first-time nonviolent offenders.
In early 2017, Ren filmed himself replacing the filling inside Oreo cookies with toothpaste in response to a prank challenge by one of his over a million followers. The then-19-year-old gave the cookies and 20 euros to a middle-aged homeless Romanian man, who vomited after eating the cookie, according to Spanish newspaper El País.
In the video, which has since been removed from YouTube, Ren said he “may have gone a bit far” but said “this will help clean his teeth ― I don’t think he has cleaned them since he became poor.”
Ren reportedly told the court that the video was just a bad joke and that he pulled the prank just to entertain his followers. But the judge said Ren earned more than 2,000 euros from ad revenue generated by the video, one of many he filmed in response to prank challenges from his followers, according to Spanish news media.
“This was not an isolated act,” judge Rosa Aragonés ruled in the verdict published Friday, which said Ren also showed “cruel behaviors” toward “vulnerable victims.”
The YouTube star was born in China and has lived in Barcelona since he was a child, according to El País.