YouTuber Mom Ruby Franke Sentenced To Prison For Child Abuse


Utah vlogger Ruby Franke, alongside her therapist Jodi Hildebrandt, has been sentenced to prison for child abuse.

Franke confessed to restraining her 12-year-old son with handcuffs, waterboarding, and subjecting him to extreme outdoor punishment. The children suffered severe physical distress, including blistered skin, treated with cayenne pepper and honey.

YouTube Mom-Vlogger Ruby Franke Convicted Of Child Abuse

Ruby Franke

According to reports, Franke was sentenced to 4 to 60 years behind bars for child abuse alongside her former business partner and therapist, Jodi Hildebrandt. Both women pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse in December, foregoing their right to appeal.

Vlogger Franke confessed to restraining her son's hand and feet with two sets of handcuffs after the 12-year-old boy attempted to escape from home. In the 10-page plea agreement, Franke also confessed to kicking her son and subjecting him to waterboarding.

Additionally, she admitted to compelling him to endure direct sunlight for several days" and keeping him outdoors at all "hours of the day and night for extended periods."

Furthermore, the boy was deprived of "adequate water for several days" and "punished when he secretly consumed water."

Ruby Franke's Legal Team Claimed She Was Manipulated By Therapist Jodi Hildebrandt

As part of the plea agreement, both women saw two charges of aggravated child abuse dropped, as confirmed by Tania Mashburn, a spokeswoman for Utah State Courts, who spoke to People magazine.

During a December court session, Franke, dressed in prison attire, hesitated before admitting guilt to the remaining charges.

According to CBS News,  the "8 Passengers" vlogger expressed remorse for her actions: "With my deepest regret and sorrow for my family and my children, guilty."

At the time, Franke's legal team, Winward Law, alleged manipulation by Hildebrandt, with the belief that her former business partner "had the insight to offer a path to continual improvement."

Franke's legal team claimed Hildebrandt "took advantage of this quest and twisted it into something heinous."

The Vlogger's Ex Opened Up About Jodi Hildebrandt's Manipulation

Ruby Franke

In 2021, Franke and her spouse Kevin, known for sharing their parenting journey on the now-defunct "8 passengers" vlog, sought marriage counseling from Hildebrandt.

Hildebrandt, divorced and estranged from her own children, established ConneXions in 2012, offering relationship enhancement services to "help you flourish in your relationships."

While counseling the couple, Hildebrandt recommended a trial separation to salvage their marriage and "dispose of distortion's ugly lies in order to live in Truth, connection, and freedom," according to statements from Kevin's attorney, Randy Kester.

Acting on this advice, Kevin, who has not faced charges and initiated divorce proceedings, adhered to Hildebrandt's guidance by moving out and cutting off contact with his family.

Ruby Franke Admits To Abusing Her Children As 'Acts Of Love'

According to reports, social workers and law enforcement have visited the family's residence on multiple occasions over the years, although no formal allegations were made. Franke admitted in the plea agreement that the severity of child abuse "escalated" during the summer of 2023.

Eve, then 9, was subjected to "work outside in the heat barefoot" and "to run barefoot on dirt roads for an extended period of time." Additionally, she was "denied food and water" while being "repeatedly told she was evil and possessed." Ultimately, Franke acknowledged that her youngest daughter "was convinced that she was evil."

Furthermore, Ruby and Hildebrandt "regularly sought to indoctrinate" Franke's son, Russell, and "convince him that he was evil and possessed."

According to the plea agreement, he was coerced into believing that the torment inflicted upon him was an "act of love" and that "the punishments were necessary to repent."

The two youngest children reportedly exhibited signs of severe physical distress, including "blistered and sloughing skin." Law enforcement documents from the initial stages of the investigation suggested that their injuries were occasionally treated with a combination of cayenne pepper and honey.