Former YouTube Parental Coach Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse

Utah-based parental coach and mother of six, Ruby Franke, admitted guilt on December 18 to four charges of child abuse following an extended period of subjecting her children to torment.

The 41-year-old ex-social media figure initially faced six felony charges of child abuse in collaboration with her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt. Franke ultimately opted to provide testimony against her 54-year-old business associate, leading to the removal of two counts as part of a plea agreement.

On August 30, Hildebrant and Franke were apprehended by law enforcement following the escape of Franke’s 12-year-old son from her residence, who urgently sought help from a neighbor to contact 911.

According to an initial statement from the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department, the boy appeared malnourished and extremely thin. The department reported that Franke’s 12-year-old son had duct tape bound around his ankles and wrists, along with visible open wounds.

The parental coach and her spouse, Kevin, were previously in charge of the now-closed YouTube channel, 8 Passengers, which enjoyed significant popularity on the social media platform. Following the channel’s official closure in 2022, Franke began creating content for Hildebrandt’s counseling firm, ConneXions. In November 2023, Franke’s husband initiated divorce proceedings.

By officially admitting guilt to the four child abuse charges, Franke acknowledged her participation in numerous instances of inflicting harm on her own children. Legal documents highlighted that her son and daughter were compelled to labor outdoors during the summer and were deliberately locked out of their residence for extended periods, resulting in severe sunburns.

Franke, along with another adult not named in the documents, used to convey to the children that the discipline they were undergoing was framed as an expression of love. Both individuals even instructed the six children to oppose the punishments as a means to ward off the perceived evil within them.

Franke’s attorney, Lamar Winward, asserted that his client was manipulated by Hildebrandt, who coerced her into committing grievous acts and distorting her moral compass. Franke, expressing her profound remorse, informed the judge that she pleaded guilty with sincere regret for the harm inflicted upon her children and family. The sentencing is slated for February 20, 2024.




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