Family Vlogger Sentenced To Decades In Prison For Child Abuse

By April Ryder | Updated

  • Former YouTube family vlogger Ruby Franke is going to prison.
  • Ruby Franke was charged with aggravated child abuse.
  • The judge handed Ruby Franke a sentence of four consecutive terms of 1-15 years.
  • Jodi Hildebrandt, Ruby Franke’s business partner, received the same sentence.

Ruby Franke, the now-canceled vlogger who ran the once-popular YouTube channel 8 Passengers, was sentenced to four consecutive terms of 1-15 years in prison on charges of aggravated child abuse this week. 

Excact Sentence Length Has Yet To be Decided

She and her former business partner Jodi Hildebrandt were both brought up on the same charges and have reportedly received the same sentences, which are the maximum the court is allowed to hand out for the charges. The Utah Board of Parole and Probation will determine the exact length of Ruby Franke and Hildebrandt’s sentences. 

Anything From 4 To 60 Years Is On The Table

Ruby Franke could be sentenced to as little as four years in prison for abusing her children or as many as 60 years. However, there is a law in the state of Utah that only allows those with consecutive sentences to serve a maximum of 30 years. Once Franke’s final sentence is handed down, she will have 30 days to appeal the order.  

Allegedly Contrite

In an emotional statement to the judge on her case, Ruby Franke said that she was “willing to serve a prison sentence for as long as (she) needs” while she fought back tears. She also explicitly apologized for “twisting God’s words and distorting his doctrine” after the judge told her of her sentence. 

Franke’s Business Partner Found Guilty

During Jodi Hildebrant’s sentencing, the judge made a statement that Hildebrant “terrorized” the children before handing her the maximum sentence possible under Utah state guidelines. To which Jodi responded, “I sincerely loved these children.” 

Franke’s Children Were Malnourished And Starving

Ruby Franke and Hildebrant were arrested in August of last year after one of Franke’s children escaped from Hildebrant’s house through a window and ran to a neighbor for help. The kid had duct tape around his wrists and ankles and was severely emaciated from what could only be deduced as starvation. 

The police found the kid’s wounds and malnourishment to be severe enough to transfer him and another one of Franke’s children to a nearby hospital for treatment of their condition. The worst thing is that that instance wasn’t the worst of the stories that have arisen since Ruby Franke’s arrest. 

Franke Plead Guilty To Abuse

Her poor children were put through things that are certain to cause lasting psychological damage. In December 2023, Ruby Franke pleaded guilty to aggravated child abuse, admitting (per the plea agreement) that she tortured her children, at times even holding their heads underwater for long stints and starving them. 

Her Son Tried To Escape

One of Ruby Franke’s sisters-in-laws publicly stated that she would love to see Franke “put away forever” for her crimes against the children, and rightfully so. In another instance of abuse, one of Franke’s sons tried to run away from the home, and for his punishment, she bound his hands and legs and hog-tied him. 

Seperated From Her Husband

With these explicit charges against Ruby Franke and her former business partner, it is even more troublesome to note that the business the two ran was a parenting counseling sort of setup. These two women were doling out parenting advice to the millions via their company and their YouTube presence. 

Kevin Franke (the father of the abused children) was not involved in the case. He and Ruby Franke had been legally separated for more than a year when she was arrested on the charges. He now has custody of the children and is seeking ongoing psychological treatment for them.