YouTube mom vlogger Ruby Franke will plead guilty in child abuse case

YouTube logo on the screen of a smartphone that is over a keyboard

YouTube mom vlogger Ruby Franke and her attorney have spoken out for the first time since her arrest, after she and her business partner and mental health counselor Jodi Hildebrant were arrested and charged on six counts of aggravated child abuse in August.  Franke broke her silence through her attorney, sharing that she will be pleading guilty to the charges against her on Monday at the Washington County 5th District Court in Utah.  Both women have remained in custody since their arrest; Hildebrant has not yet entered a plea to the charges.

On August 30th, Franke’s 12-year-old son, who had been staying at Hildebrandt’s house, climbed out of a window and ran to a neighbor’s home, saying he had been abused.  The Santa Clara-Ivins police in Utah released a statement that the child “appeared to be emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and duct tape around the extremities,” and upon searching the home, police said they found Franke’s 10-year-old daughter in the same condition. All of Franke’s four minor children were then placed into state care.

In his statement Franke’s attorney, LaMar Winward, described her as a devoted mother committed to constant improvement, saying she was a victim of manipulation: “Initially, Ms. Franke believed that Jodi Hildebrant had the insight to offer a path to continual improvement. Ms. Hildebrant took advantage of this quest and twisted it into something heinous.  Over an extended period, Ms. Hildebrant systematically isolated Ruby Franke from her extended family, older children, and her husband, Kevin Franke. This prolonged isolation resulted in Ms. Franke being subjected to a distorted sense of morality.”

Franke’s now defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers” offered parenting advice, and Franke and Hildebrandt were business partners in ConneXions, an organization that according to its website promises to “encourage healing and facilitate personal growth through impeccable honesty, rigorous personal responsibility and vulnerable humility”. Hildebrandt is listed as the founder while Franke is listed as “a certified mental fitness trainer.”

Editorial credit: rafastockbr /

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