Kanghua Ren, who has built an online following by publishing videos on YouTube, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after tricking a homeless man into eating Oreo biscuits filled with toothpaste.
Ren, known to his 1.2 million online followers as ReSet, will not be heading to jail, as this was a first offence before the Spanish courts.
He will, however, be banned from holding any social media accounts for the next five years, and has been ordered to pay his victim 20,000 euros ($22,470) in “moral damages”, according to The Guardian.
In 2017, reportedly acting upon a “dare”, then 19-year-old Ren filmed himself approaching a 52-year-old homeless Romanian man living on the streets of Barcelona, handing him the doctored biscuits and a 20 euro note. The man vomited after eating the tampered-with Oreos.
Judge Rosa Aragones said last week the YouTuber sought to profit from advertising revenues on his videos of “cruel behaviour”, preying on “easy or vulnerable victims”. She found him guilty of violating the man’s moral integrity.
“I do things to put on a show,” he reportedly told the court. “People like sick things.” His videos have notched up more than 111 million views.
Judge Aragones said Ren had made more than 2,000 euros ($2,247) from that one video alone, Gizmodo reported.
“Maybe I’ve gone a bit far, but look at the positive side: This will help him clean his teeth,” Ren said in the video. “I think he hasn’t cleaned them since he became poor.”