CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Ruby Franke pleads guilty to charges of aggravated child abuse

Dec 18, 2023, 11:21 AM | Updated: May 29, 2024, 11:33 am

Ruby Franke appears in a virtual court appearance....

Ruby Franke is pictured appearing during a virtual court appearance. (Screenshot from a virtual hearing)

(Screenshot from a virtual hearing)

PROVO, Utah — Ruby Franke, former YouTuber, has pleaded guilty to four second-degree felony charges of aggravated child abuse. 

Initially, Franke and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, were charged with six counts of child abuse, according to court documents.

KSL TV reported that two of the counts were removed as part of the plea deal.  She will serve her sentences consecutively.

During the hearing on Monday morning, Franke’s parents, her sister Julie and her brother Beau were present. As Franke entered and exited the courtroom, she made eye contact and smiled at them, per KSL TV.

Franke’s sentencing has been scheduled for February 20, 2024, at 10 a.m. 

Her family and lawyer did not comment, according to KSL TV. 

New details emerge

According to Franke’s guilty plea statement, from May 22, 2023, to Aug. 30, 2023, she “knowingly inflicted and allowed another adult to inflict serious physical injuries upon” two of her children.

This includes torturing one of her children by making them do physical tasks for “hours and days at a time.” Franke forced them to do wall-sits, carry heavy boxes up and down stairs and work outside in the heat without shoes, the plea agreement states.

Eventually, according to the statement, this child was forced to remain outside during all hours of the day and night. Due to this, they got repeated sunburns and blisters all while being denied access to adequate food and water for several days. They also did not have access to any forms of entertainment.

After attempting to run away, according to the statement, the child’s hands and feet were regularly bound with handcuffs. This “resulted in injuries to (their) wrists and ankles where the handcuffs cut through the skin and damaged the muscle/tissue.” These injuries were then treated with “homeopathic remedies,” and wrapped in duct tape.

Franke’s other child received the same treatment, other than the binding with handcuffs, according to the statement. They were also forced to do physical labor, stay outside for extended periods, and were denied adequate food and water.

She “regularly sought to indoctrinate” her children by telling them they were “evil and possessed,” according to the statement. She told them “everything that was being done to (them) were acts of love.”

According to the statement, all of this caused “severe emotional harm” to both children.

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Ruby Franke pleads guilty to charges of aggravated child abuse