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Ruby Franke pleads guilty to child abuse charges after two children hospitalized

Ruby Franke pleads guilty to child abuse charges after two children hospitalized

The former parenting YouTuber pleaded guilty after being arrested in August

Former parenting YouTuber Ruby Franke has pleaded guilty to child abuse after her 'emaciated' 12-year-old son ran to a neighbor for help.

Franke was arrested in August alongside her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, after the young boy turned up at the neighbors house with 'tape around his legs'.

Police then searched Hildebrandt's home and found another of Franke's children, a 10-year-old girl, in a similar malnourished condition. The two children were then taken to hospital.

Though the children were found at Hildebrandt's home, Franke had been seen at the house in a YouTube video posted just two days earlier, indicating she had knowledge of the neglect.

The following month, the mom-of-six was charged with six counts of felony child abuse, each carrying a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

On Monday (18 December), Franke appeared in court in Washington County, Utah wearing grey and white prison clothing and pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse.

As she responded to the fourth charge, Franke said: "With my deepest regret and sorrow for my family and my children, guilty."

Prior to her arrest, Franke had been a popular YouTuber with 2.3 million subscribers on her channel, 8 Passengers.

Ruby Franke pleaded guilty to four counts.
Law and Crime Network

The mom documented her family life, focusing on her parenting style including the upbringing and discipline of her six children.

Franke's work with Hildebrandt came as she became a key part of the controversial life counselling organization ConneXions, which Hildebrandt founded.

Together, the pair created advice videos about parenting.

Franke's lawyer, LaMar Winward, has claimed Franke was influenced by Hildebrandt, alleging she led her to 'a distorted sense of morality'.

Lawyers accused Hildebrandt of 'systematically isolat[ing]' Franke from her family, adding: "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.”

Ruby Franke was a popular YouTuber before her arrest.

After Franke pleaded guilty to the four charges, Judge John J. Walton accepted a plea agreement and scheduled her sentencing for 20 February.

The agreement means the sentencing decision is left up to the judge. It does not rule out prison time.

A statement released by the law firm said Franke, who has been held without bail since her arrested in August, is now pursuing 'personal growth and rehabilitation' by apologizing to and trying to reconcile with members of her family.

Meanwhile, Franke's husband, Kevin, has filed for divorce. Four of Franke's children who are under 18 have been placed in care.

Hildebrandt, who was also arrested, is next set to appear in court on 27 December.

Featured Image Credit: Law and Crime

Topics: Crime, Health, Parenting, YouTube