Ruby Franke: Guidance on Parenting YouTuber Receives Maximum Punishment for Abusing Children

A Utah mother known for her strict parenting guidance that gained her a large following on YouTube has been given a minimum of four years in prison for mistreating her child.

Ruby Franke, aged 42, expressed her remorse in court upon hearing her sentence. She admitted to neglecting and mistreating her children.

She showed up with her ex-business partner Jodi Hildebrandt, 54, who got the same sentence.

They were sentenced to serve four terms ranging from one to 15 years each by the judge.

The sentences will be consecutive and are the maximum allowed under Utah law. The amount of time each individual will ultimately serve will be decided by the state’s parole board.

Franke has 30 days to challenge the decision.

During the court proceedings, Utah prosecutor Eric Clarke described the living conditions of two of Franke’s children, aged nine and 11 at the time, as resembling a concentration camp and labelled her as a major danger to the community.

According to Mr. Clarke, the children were consistently deprived of food, water, beds, and almost any kind of entertainment.

In court, Franke was visibly emotional after the sentence was announced. She expressed regret to her children, admitting, “I was so confused that I mistook dark for light and right for wrong.”

“I was under the impression that this world was a negative environment, with authorities exerting control, medical facilities causing harm, governmental organisations manipulating, religious figures being deceitful and immoral, spouses failing to provide protection, and minors experiencing mistreatment,” she expressed.

In August 2023, two women were arrested when Franke’s undernourished 12-year-old son was found climbing out of a window at Hildebrandt’s house in Ivins, Utah. According to authorities, the child proceeded to go to a neighbor’s residence and requested food and water. According to police records, he had lacerations from being tied up with rope.Ruby Franke: Tips for parents Maximum sentence handed to YouTuber for child abuse.

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The apprehensions signalled the conclusion of a lengthy and contentious YouTube journey. Franke gained over two million subscribers to her channel 8 Passengers, which she launched in 2015.

During a period of growth for parenting vloggers, she shared with a local news outlet that recording videos with her family allowed her to appreciate the moment and cherish time with her children.

Her videos depicted a traditional Mormon suburban family engaging in home-schooling, cooking, eating, and conversing together.

However, fans began to grow suspicious in 2020, when one of her sons revealed that he had to sleep on a bean bag for seven months.

After examining her past videos, YouTube viewers highlighted additional troubling and contentious practices employed by Franke, including depriving food, making threats to a toy stuffed animal, and using the cancellation of Christmas as a form of punishment.

A petition initiated by an individual requesting an investigation garnered thousands of signatures, prompting a call to Utah’s child protection agency, although no legal action was pursued immediately. Franke and her husband initially downplayed the criticism, stating that some of their clips had been taken out of context.

However, the channel’s popularity waned, leading to its deletion in 2022, coinciding with Franke and her husband going their separate ways.

Franke started making appearances in YouTube videos shared by Ms. Hildebrandt, a counsellor and life coach, on her website, ConneXions Classroom.

Behind the camera, though, Franke’s children were enduring even more severe mistreatment.

These actions involved restraining them, physically assaulting them, depriving them of food, and making them work outside in the sun without protection, leading to severe sunburn, as per police reports.

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According to a plea agreement, Hildebrandt admitted to either torturing the children or being aware of the abuse. She also confessed to forcing one of Franke’s daughters to “jump into a cactus multiple times”.

Franke informed her children that they were “evil and possessed” and needed to “repent”.

Franke’s ex-husband Kevin Franke, through his attorney, requested the highest possible sentence before the hearing and described the abuse his children endured as “horrific and inhumane.”

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