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Ruby Franke’s husband calls for harsh prison sentence for YouTube mom

Disgraced YouTuber’s husband’s attorney called for Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt to face harsh prison sentences

Amelia Neath,Martha McHardy
Tuesday 20 February 2024 17:34 GMT
Ruby Franke pleads guilty to child abuse charges

The estranged husband of disgraced YouTube mom Ruby Franke has called for his wife to face lengthy prison time as she is sentenced for child abuse.

Franke is being sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty to four counts of child abuse, months after her son was found emaciated and suffering wounds at her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt’s home.

Kevin Franke, who used to run the family YouTube vlogging channel “8Passengers” with his wife, spoke out ahead of her sentencing to say he hopes the judge comes down heavily on her.

“We trust the judge to sentence them both to 1-15 years for each of the four counts, to run consecutively, and then let the Utah State Board of Pardons decide if that should be shortened or other conditions imposed,” a statement from Mr Franke’s attorney shared with Law&Crime said.

“The treatment these children received at the hands of those whom the children had a right to trust, was horrific and inhumane, both physically and psychologically,” the statement continued.

“Kevin remains focused on the rehabilitation of these sweet and vulnerable children so that they might return to a normal life as soon as possible.”

Ruby Franke is facing up to 15 years on each of the four charges.

Her business partner Hildebrandt is also due to be sentenced on Tuesday on the same four counts of child abuse.

Their arrests came after Franke’s 12-year-old son escaped Hildebrandt’s home in August 2023 and fled to a neighbour’s home.

He was found with wounds and was emaciated; his sister was later found in a similar condition.

The 12-year-old boy later told police that Hildebrandt would put cayenne pepper and honey on their wounds that had been caused by being tied with the rope, warrants said.

In a statement filed in court in December, Franke admitted to abusing two of her children from 22 May until her arrest.

Among her confessions, she admitted to forcing her son into long physical tasks outside in summer without shoes or adequate water, leaving him with “repeated and serious sunburns,” and using ropes to tie him up, resulting in injuries.

Franke’s nine-year-old daughter was also forced to work outside, run on dirt roads barefoot “for extended periods of time”, and go without food and water, the statement said.

Kevin Franke and Ruby Franke (8 Passengers/YouTube)

The disgraced vlogger’s husband filed for divorce three months after Franke’s arrest.

Mr Franke’s attorney, Randy Kester, previously told in October that the couple had been separated for 13 months “at Ruby’s directive”.

“Kevin did not want to be separated,” Mr Kester said. “He wanted to work through concerns as a family. There was never any formal, written decree of separate maintenance or separation agreement. The separation was under terms proscribed by Ruby and Jodi Hildebrandt.”

Mr Franke previously claimed his marriage completely changed when his wife became business partners with Hildebrandt, who he said “manipulated” him and “destroyed his family”.

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