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HomeCommunityYouTuber Ruby Franke Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse Charges in Disturbing Case

YouTuber Ruby Franke Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse Charges in Disturbing Case

Ruby Franke, the disgraced family YouTuber, entered a guilty plea on Monday to four counts of child abuse, as reported by The New York Times, NBC News, and CBS News. Franke, known for her YouTube channel “8Passengers” alongside her husband Kevin, will face sentencing in January after pleading guilty to aggravated child abuse.

In a plea deal, Franke admitted to four counts instead of the initial six charges. The charges stemmed from an incident in August when Franke’s 12-year-old son reportedly escaped the home of her podcasting partner, Jodi Hildebrandt.

The boy sought help from a neighbor, requesting food and water and appearing “emaciated” with visible wounds, according to reports from ABC News, and the Deseret News in September.

The Franke family gained fame through their YouTube channel, showcasing their strict parenting style, but the platform shut down the channel after Ruby Franke’s arrest. The couple, particularly Ruby, had amassed over 2 million followers since starting the channel in 2015.

The statement also called Franke a “devoted mother” who fell under Hildebrandt’s “influence.”

“Initially, Ms. Franke believed that Jodi Hildebrant had the insight to offer a path to continual improvement,” the statement claimed. “Ms. Hildebrant took advantage of this quest and twisted it into something heinous. Over an extended period, Ms. Hildebrant systematically isolated Ruby Franke from her extended family, older children, and her husband, Kevin Franke. This prolonged isolation resulted in Ms. Franke being subjected to a distorted sense of morality, shaped by Ms. Hildebrandt’s influence.”

Franke’s lawyers, as reported by PEOPLE, had previously indicated her intention to plead guilty, stating that she had been influenced by Hildebrandt and was “led astray” on a challenging path.

Pending her sentencing in January, Ruby Franke will remain in jail. The judge will determine the sentencing, and there is a possibility of prison time, according to CBS News, citing Franke’s attorney. Additionally, Kevin Franke filed for divorce last month.

Jake Massey
Jake Massey
Journalist at the Medialinker Group
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