(WatchDogReport.org) – Utah YouTube parental coach and mother of six, Ruby Franke, pleaded guilty on December 18 to four counts of child abuse after spending months torturing her children.
The 41-year-old former social media personality was first charged with six felony counts of child abuse alongside her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt. Franke eventually agreed to testify against her 54-year-old business partner in exchange for eliminating two of her counts as part of a plea agreement.
Authorities arrested Hildebrant and Franke on August 30 after Franke’s 12-year-old son escaped from her house and desperately asked one of the neighbors to call 911. An initial report from the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department said that the boy seemed “malnourished” and “emaciated.” The department also noted that Franke’s 12-year-old son had duct tape around his ankles and wrists, and even had some “open wounds.”
The parental coach and her husband, Kevin, used to run the now-defunct YouTube channel 8 Passengers, which was one of the most famous on the social media platform. After the channel was officially shut down in 2022, Franke started to produce content for Hildebrandt’s counseling company, ConneXions. Franke’s husband filed for divorce in November 2023.
By formally pleading guilty to the four child abuse counts, Franke recognized her involvement in numerous acts of torture on her own kids. Court documents pointed out that her son and daughter were forced to work outside their house during summertime and were locked out of their home for hours, causing severe sunburns. Franke and another adult who wasn’t identified in the documents used to tell the children that the punishment they were receiving was “an act of love.” Both of them even said the six children had to “resist” the punishments so they could repel “the evil” they had inside.
Franke’s lawyer, Lamar Winward, said that his client was influenced by Hildebrandt, who made her commit “heinous” acts and even distort her sense of “morality.” Franke told the judge that she pleaded guilty with her “deepest” sorrow and regret for what she did to her children and her family. Her sentencing will be scheduled for February 20, 2024.
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