Ruby Franke: Parenting advice YouTuber given maximum sentence for child abuse

A Utah woman whose harsh parenting advice built her a massive YouTube following has been sentenced to four to 60 years in prison.

Ruby Franke, 42, previously pleaded guilty to accusations of starving and abusing her children. She appeared in court on Tuesday along with her former business partner Jodi Hildebrandt, 54, who received an identical sentence.
The judge sentenced both to serve four terms of one to 15 years each.

The sentences will run consecutively and are the maximum for each count under Utah law. How much time each will ultimately serve will be determined by the state’s parole board.
In court, Utah prosecutor Eric Clarke said that two of Franke’s children lived in a “concentration camp-like setting” and called her a significant threat to the community.

“The children were regularly denied food, water, beds to sleep in, and virtually all forms of entertainment,” Mr Clarke said. In court, Franke apologized to her children and said: “I was so disoriented that I believed dark was light and right was wrong. I was led to believe that this world was an evil place, filled with cops who control, hospitals that injure, government agencies that brainwash, church leaders who lie and lust, husbands who refuse to protect and children who need abuse,” she said.

The two women were arrested in August 2023 after Franke’s malnourished 12-year-old son climbed out of a window at Hildebrandt’s house in Ivins, Utah. Police said the child then ran to a neighbour’s house and asked for food and water. He had lacerations from being tied up with rope, according to police records.

In a plea agreement, Hildebrandt stated that she either tortured the children or was aware of the abuse and that she forced one of Franke’s daughters to “jump into a cactus multiple times”.
Franke told her children that they were “evil and possessed” and needed to “repent”. Through his lawyer, Franke’s ex-husband Kevin Franke asked prior to the hearing for the maximum sentence to be imposed and called the abuse suffered by his children “horrific and inhumane”.


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