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Ruby Franke’s son posts TikTok joking about mother being jailed for child abuse

The mother-of-six was once a YouTube sensation, and now she could spend decades in jail for child abuse

Andrea Cavallier
Friday 23 February 2024 06:14 GMT
Ruby Franke’s son jokes about mother being jailed on TikTok
Ruby Franke’s son jokes about mother being jailed on TikTok (TikTok)

The son of disgraced YouTuber Ruby Franke, who pleaded guilty to a slew of horrific child abuse allegations joked about the ordeal in a TikTok video.

Chad Franke, one of Franke’s six children, shared the video just three days before his mother was sentenced to four to 60 years in prison on multiple charges.

The TikTok video showed Chad alongside his girlfriend whose caption read “You’d love my mom!”

In response, Chad is seen smiling and dancing as his caption reads “My mom’s in prison.”

Chad was in Utah’s 5th District Court along with his sister, Shari, on Tuesday as their mother sobbed and apologised to her younger children for abusing them in what prosecutors called a ‘concentration camp-like setting.’

The 42-year-old “momfluencer” was once a YouTube sensation, drawing in millions of subscribers to her channel where she offered parenting advice.

Ruby Franke was sentenced Tuesday on child abuse charges (AP)

But her reputation unravelled when she and her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt were arrested in August 2023 after one of Franke’s sons escaped Hildebrandt’s home and sought help from a neighbour.

The malnourished boy said Hildebrandt put cayenne pepper and honey on their wounds that were caused by being tied with rope, according to arrest warrants.

In December, both women pleaded guilty to four counts of child abuse. They were both sentenced to between one to 15 years in prison for each count - up to 60 years in total.

However, the women will only serve up to 30 years in prison due to a Utah state law that caps the sentence duration for consecutive penalties. The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole will consider their behaviour while incarcerated and determine how much of that time each will spend behind bars.

In the plea deal statement, they both admitted to a slew of horrific acts that included forcing Franke’s children to work outside in the sweltering heat without adequate water until they “blistered”.

In this image made from video provided by the Utah State Courts, Jodi Hildebrandt is seen during a virtual court in September

Franke also admitted to kicking her son while wearing boots, holding his head under water and “cutting off oxygen by placing her hands over his mouth and nose.”

Ropes were used to tie together handcuffs that secured his hands and feet as he lay on his stomach, lifting his arms and legs off the ground and injuring his wrists and ankles, the plea agreement stated.

Hildebrandt also admitted that she physically forced Franke’s nine-year-old daughter to jump into a cactus multiple times, to run barefoot on dirt roads for extended periods and kept her isolated from others.

They tried to convince the children that they were evil and possessed and that the “punishments” were necessary to repent. Franke described the abuse as “acts of love”.

But in a tearful statement made in court before she was sentenced on Tuesday, Franke claimed she was deceived by a “dark delusion.”

“I was led to believe the world was an evil place,” Franke said. “For the past four years, I have chosen to follow counsel and guidance that have led me to a dark delusion.”

YouTuber Ruby Franke apologises to children as judge sentenced her to 60 years

Franke told Judge Walton that she was under the influence of Hildebrandt, who was sentenced on the same child abuse charges. The two women will serve their sentences consecutively.

She also issued a tearful apology to her children for abusing them and said she was willing to serve her time.

“To my babies, my six little chicks. You are part of me,” the former Youtuber said.

“I was the mama duck who was consistently waddling you to safety. I can see now that over the past four years, I was in a deep undercurrent that led us to danger.”

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