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YouTube mum makes disturbing statement before receiving maximum sentence for child abuse

YouTube mum makes disturbing statement before receiving maximum sentence for child abuse

YouTube blogger Ruby Franke pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse.

YouTuber Ruby Franke pleaded for forgiveness before a judge gave her the maximum prison sentence for child abuse.

The US mother of six - who used to give parental advice to millions on her once-popular YouTube channel - says she was under the influence of her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt.

Franke, 42, and Hildebrandt, 54, both pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse for trying to convince Franke’s two youngest children that they were evil, possessed and needed to be punished.

The pair were arrested last August at Hildebrandt’s house in Utah, after Franke’s 12-year-old son escaped through a window and asked a neighbour to call the police.

The boy, who was thin, covered in wounds and had duct tape around his ankles and wrists, told the St George Police Department that Hildebrandt had put ropes on his limbs and used cayenne pepper and honey to dress his cuts.

State prosecuting attorney Eric Clarke called the environment the children were kept in was like 'a concentration camp-like setting'.

Ruby Franke sobbed as she was sentenced.

In a statement to a 5th District Court judge on Tuesday (20 February), Franke said: "My choice to believe and behave this paranoia culminated into criminal activity, for which I stand before you today ready to take accountability.

"Jodi Hildebrandt was never my business partner, nor was I ever employed by her.

"I have never received wages from her or ConneXions. Jodi was employed as my son’s counsellor in 2019, and in 2020, I paid her to be my mentor.

"It is important to me to demonstrate my remorse and regret without blame. I take full accountability for my choices, and it is my preference that I serve a prison sentence."

Franke and her husband, Kevin Franke, launched 8 Passengers on YouTube in 2015, racking up a large following as they documented their experiences raising six children.

She later began working with Hildebrandt’s counselling company, ConneXions Classroom, offering parenting seminars, while launching another YouTube channel.

Franke admitted in her plea deal to kicking her son while wearing boots, holding his head under water and closing off his mouth and nose with her hands.

The former YouTuber and Jodi Hildebrandt received the same sentence.
YouTube/ConneXions Classroom

"Kevin, my husband of more than 23 years,” Franke continued in her statement.

"You are the love of my life. [I’m] so sorry to leave to you to finish what we both started together.

"The ending of our marriage is a tragedy. And you are wrapped around my heart in a knot I’ll never be able to undo.

"To my babies; my six little chicks — you are a part of me.

"I will — I will never stop crying for hurting your tender souls.

"You are so precious to me, I’m sorry. My choice to live in fear of the world has created a great vulnerability and a blind spot for me — where I have broken hearts, and I’ve caused people to suffer and I have betrayed sacred trust.

"Watching my community respond to my charges with justice and mercy and grace and love is all the more evidence to me of how wrong I’ve been.

"This world is full of really good people.

"And finally, I’m sorry for twisting God’s word and distorting His doctrines."

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Law&Crime Network

Topics: US News, Crime, YouTube