United States

Popular Parent YouTube Vlogger Sentenced To Prison On Child Abuse Charges

Ruby Franke, a popular YouTuber and her former business partner Jodi Hildebrandt, both pleaded guilty for four counts of child abuse in December.

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AP
Ruby Franke during court hearing in Utah. Photo: AP
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Ruby Franke, a well-known internet personality and mother, was handed down a severe sentence on Tuesday in a Utah courtroom, following her guilty plea to four counts of aggravated child abuse. The 42-year-old, known for her presence on the now-deleted YouTube channel "8 Passengers," received four consecutive sentences of one to 15 years in a Utah prison.

During her sentencing, Franke expressed acceptance of her charges, acknowledging their importance in ensuring the safety of her family and providing accountability to the public. She also noted the mercy shown to her in the legal proceedings.

Franke's arrest came in August after her 12-year-old son fled and sought help from a neighbor, leading to police involvement. Initially facing six counts, Franke pleaded guilty to four as part of a plea deal, agreeing to testify against her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, who faced similar charges and also reached a plea agreement.

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Photo: AP
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Court documents revealed disturbing details of the abuse, including withholding food and water from Franke's children, physically assaulting her son with boots, and restricting his oxygen. Franke justified these actions to her children as necessary for obedience and repentance.

In her statement, Franke expressed regret for following misguided counsel, leading her into a "dark delusion" for the past four years. Hildebrandt, who received identical sentences, echoed Franke's sentiments and emphasized her hope for the victims' healing and recovery.

Both Franke and Hildebrandt have 30 days to file an appeal, according to the judge, who cited concern for the emotional well-being of the victims as a factor in avoiding a trial.

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