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Parenting vlogger Ruby Franke given maximum prison sentence for child abuse

Parenting vlogger Ruby Franke given maximum prison sentence for child abuse

She was arrested after one of her kids climbed out of a window and ran to a neighbour's house

Parenting vlogger Ruby Franke has been handed the maximum prison sentence for child abuse, having pleaded guilty to starving and abusing her six children.

Franke, 42, launched her ‘8 Passengers’ YouTube channel in 2015 with husband Kevin Franke, who has now filed for divorce.

Their content focused on her experience raising their home-schooled kids in Ivins, Utah, as part of a large Mormon family.

However, fans began to grow suspicious that something was wrong when one of her sons said he had been made to sleep on a beanbag, and started noticing other warning signs in their videos like Franke withholding food from her kids.

In August 2023, Franke’s malnourished 12-year-old son climbed out of a window at their home and ran to a neighbour’s home to ask for food and water.

Ruby Franke, 42.

Covered in wounds, he also had duct tape around his ankles and wrists, with the boy telling police his wounds had been dressed in cayenne pepper and honey by his mum’s business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, 54.

Franke and Hildebrandt were arrested and each charged with six felony counts of aggravated child abuse.

Franke in court last December.

At a hearing in December, Franke pleaded guilty to four of the six charges and not guilty to two as part of a plea deal.

Hildebrandt pleaded guilty to four counts, while two were dismissed as part of her plea deal.

Both women have been sentenced to four consecutive prison terms of between one and 15 years each.

Franke apologised to her children in court, saying she believed 'dark was light and right was wrong'.

Franke and Hildebrandt.

"I'll never stop crying for hurting your tender souls," she said after being sentenced.

"My willingness to sacrifice all for you was masterfully manipulated into something very ugly. I took from you all that was soft and safe and good."

Franke's attorneys claimed Hildebrandt 'systematically isolated' her from her family, causing her to adopt a 'distorted sense of morality'.

Hildebrandt also said she wanted the children to 'heal physically and emotionally', adding: “One of the reasons I did not go to trial is because I did not want them to emotionally relive the experience which would have been detrimental to them.

"My hope and prayer is that they will heal and move forward to have beautiful lives."

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 10am-8pm Monday to Friday. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111, 24/7.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@moms_of_truth

Topics: Parenting, News