A YouTube prankster who tricked a homeless man into eating Oreos filled with toothpaste was sentenced to 15 months in prison by a Spanish court on Friday.
A Barcelona court ordered Kanghua Ren to also pay $22,300 in compensation.
Since he is a first-time offender, Spanish law usually suspends prison time for those sentenced to less than two years, according to The New York Times.
Ren posted a since-deleted video to his YouTube channel in January 2017 in which he is seen filling Oreo cookies with toothpaste and repackaging them as a prank to impress his 1.2 million followers. The prank took a turn for the worse when he handed the cookie, along with 20 euros, to a homeless man identified as Gheorge L., who proceeded to eat them and vomit afterward.
In the video, Ren can be heard contemplating whether he has gone too far with the prank.
“But look at the positive side; this will help him clean his teeth,” he said. “I think he hasn’t cleaned them since he became poor.”
The Barcelona court didn’t see the humor and found Ren guilty of violating the moral integrity of the homeless man.
Gheorge L., a native of Romania who fled his country to escape the Communist dictatorship and was later hospitalized in a mental institution said he had “never been treated so poorly while living on the street,” according to a report by the El Pais newspaper.
After the video received negative feedback from his followers, Ren attempted to make amends by filming a subsequent video where he visits the homeless man again and offers him 20 more euros. Ren made a third visit after that, offering the man’s daughter 300 euros to prevent her from filing a lawsuit, according to Spanish police.
The YouTuber raked in $2,475 from advertisers for the Oreo prank videos alone, a fact that judge Rosa Aragonés said showed “this was not an isolated act,” as he has posted other videos displaying “cruel behaviors” towards “easy or vulnerable victims,” in the past.
Ren defended his videos to the court saying “I do things to mount a show: People like what is morbid.”