Utah mother of six and parenting YouTuber Ruby Franke has pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse. According to CBS News, the 41-year-old entered the plea on Monday, December 18.
More Details Regarding Rube Franke’s Plea & Sentencing
Since then, Franke has accepted a plea deal that dropped two of her original six charges.
On Monday, Franke stood before the court to share her plea. CBS News reports the mother of six audibly responded guilty to her first three charges. Then, before Franke pleaded guilty to the final charge, she added additional words.
“With my deepest regret and sorrow for my family and my children, guilty,” Franke responded, per CBS News.
Ruby Franke: “With my deepest regret and sorrow for my family and my children…” pic.twitter.com/NumDP1L2Re
— Annie Elise x 10 to LIFE (@_10toLIFE) December 18, 2023
According to the outlet, Franke’s sentencing has been scheduled for February 20, 2024. The 41-year-old will reportedly serve consecutive sentences. CBS News reports that each count of aggravated charge abuse carries a prison sentence of one to 15 years.
More Information About Allegations Against The YouTuber
Additionally, Franke’s actions toward her children were reportedly detailed in her plea agreement. The mother allegedly believed her children were “evil, possessed, and needed to be punished to repent.”
According to CBS News, Franke’s plea agreement affirms that she “tortured” her 12-year-old son between May and August. This includes forcing him to complete “hours” of physical tasks such as wall sits, carrying boxes of books up and down stairs, working outdoors in the summer without adequate water, and suffering from “repeated and serious sunburns.”
Additionally, the 12-year-old was given “plain meals” or denied food, isolated from others, and punished for “sneaking” drinks of water.
Franke also bound and tied the child’s hands and feet after he allegedly attempted to run away in July.
Furthermore, the mother subjected the child to beatings, held his head underwater, and smothered his nose and mouth with her hands.
Franke allegedly tried to convince the child that he was “possessed” and that her actions were out of love.
“He was also told that everything that was being done to him were acts of love,” the agreement states, per CBS News.
The mother allegedly inflicted similar acts of abuse on her 9-year-old daughter.
Ruby Franke’s Plea Also Details The Actions Of Her Co-Defendant
According to the outlet, Franke’s plea also alleges she was influenced to torture her children due to instruction received by her therapist, Jodi Hildebrandt.
“Ruby Franke is a devoted mother and is also a woman committed to constant improvement. [Franke initially believed that her co-defendant Jodi Hildebrandt] had the insight to offer a path to continual improvement [but Hildebrandt] took advantage of this quest and twisted it into something heinous,” reads a statement shared by Winward Law, the firm reportedly representing Franke.
CBS News adds that Hildebrandt was arrested with Franke on August 30. At the time, Franke’s son escaped from their Utah home and called police from a neighbor’s house.
The family reportedly noted that the child had duct tape around his limbs and was “covered in wounds.”
Afterward, Franke’s four youngest children were taken into custody.
Hildebrant was subsequently charged with six felony counts of aggravated child abuse. KUTV 2 News Salt Lake City reports that Hildebrant may also accept a plea.
CBS News notes that Ruby Franke’s husband has filed for divorce. Additionally, Franke’s YouTube channel titled ‘8 Passengers,’ which chronicled the family’s daily life as Mormons, has been deleted.
According to PEOPLE, the channel came under scrutiny in recent years for showcasing the couple’s “harsh punishments” toward their six children.