UTAH

Jodi Hildebrandt pleads guilty to 4 counts of aggravated child abuse

Dec 27, 2023, 11:22 AM | Updated: 4:08 pm

Jodi Hildebrandt enters a St. George courtroom on Dec. 27, 2023. Hildebrandt later pleaded guilty t...

Jodi Hildebrandt enters a St. George courtroom on Dec. 27, 2023. Hildebrandt later pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse. (Pool, St. George News)

(Pool, St. George News)

LISTEN 🔊 to our interview with KSL TV reporter Daniella Rivera on the Jodi Hildebrandt plea.

 ST. GEORGE — Jodi Hildebrandt, Ruby Franke’s business partner, pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse during a scheduled hearing in a St. George courtroom on Wednesday. Two charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement, which Hildebrandt said she willingly signed.

All four charges are second-degree felonies. She will be sentenced on Feb. 20 at 10:30 a.m. As part of the deal, Hildebrandt agreed to be sentenced to consecutive prison terms as opposed to concurrent, meaning she will serve those sentences back-to-back instead of at the same time.

Defense attorney Doug Terry said Hildebrandt decided to plead guilty before Franke entered into her plea agreement earlier this month.

“She has pled guilty because she did not want these children to have to testify,” Terry said after the hearing. “She takes responsibility and it is her main concern at this point that these children can heal, both physically and emotionally.”

“One of the toughest things we ask victims of alleged abuse to do is testify in a trial against their abusers. We are pleased that the cases against Ms. Hildebrandt and Ms. Franke have both been resolved with the defendants agreeing to serve time in prison, and there will not be a trial requiring witnesses to testify,” Washington County Attorney Eric Clarke said in a press release. “We are grateful for the multidisciplinary team that investigated this case. We have great law enforcement officers, case workers, and Children’s Justice Centers’ staff in our area and Utah County.”

There’s much more to the story. Please read Daniella Rivera and Josh Ellis’ full story at KSLTV.com.

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Jodi Hildebrandt pleads guilty to 4 counts of aggravated child abuse