YouTuber Ruby Franke Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse Charges

Ruby Franke, popularly known for her YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of aggravated child abuse. The charges were brought against her earlier this year. Franke made the plea in a Utah courtroom, where she appeared smiling alongside her attorney. The judge read out the charges, and Franke responded with a guilty plea for each count except for the final one, to which she expressed deep regret and sorrow.

YouTube mom Ruby Franke pleads guilty to 4 counts of child abuse

Franke, along with her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt, was arrested in August after one of Franke’s children managed to escape from Hildebrandt’s home and seek help from a neighbor. The child was found with duct tape around their ankles and wrists. A subsequent search of Hildebrandt’s home revealed one of Franke’s daughters to be emaciated.

Both Franke and Hildebrandt were charged with six counts of aggravated child abuse, with Franke pleading guilty to four of them as part of a plea deal. The remaining charges were dismissed. The sentencing is scheduled for February 20, where Franke will serve consecutive sentences for each count.

In a statement, Franke’s lawyers blamed Hildebrandt, claiming that Franke was a devoted mother who had been taken advantage of by someone she trusted. They described Hildebrandt’s actions as heinous and emphasized that Franke was isolated from her extended family, older children, and husband, leading to a distorted sense of morality influenced by Hildebrandt.

During her time in jail, Franke has engaged in introspection and now fully comprehends the gravity of her actions, according to her lawyers. Franke had gained fame through her YouTube channel, where she shared parenting advice and garnered millions of views.

The case has gained significant attention as it highlights the responsibility of influencers and the potential negative impact of their actions. It serves as a reminder of the importance of vigilance in protecting children and the need to prioritize their well-being above all else.