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Ruby Franke, YouTube mom vlogger, sentenced to prison for child abuse | Utah – MyCyberBase

Ruby Franke, a mother of six who gave online parenting advice via a popular YouTube channel, was sentenced to four prison terms of between one and 15 years each, on aggravated child abuse charges on Tuesday.

Franke, 42, who had 2.3 million followers on her now-deleted 8 Passengers video channel, was arrested in the southern Utah city of Ivins last August after her malnourished 12-year-old son, with open wounds and bound with duct tape, climbed out of a window at the home of Jodi Hildebrandt, owner of a self-improvement counseling business, to ask for food and water from a neighbor.

One of Franke’s daughters was later found in a similar malnourished condition in Hildebrandt’s home. After Franke’s arrest, her eldest daughter Shari Franke, aged 20, shared a now-deleted Instagram image of police officers with the caption: “Finally.”

Franke and Hildebrandt, who collaborated on parenting and relationship advice videos posted on Hildebrandt’s life coaching service ConneXions, pleaded guilty to second-degree aggravated child abuse in December. Hildebrandt was also sentenced to to the same prison terms as Franke on Tuesday.

At her sentencing, Franke apologized to her children, saying she had “believed dark was light and right was wrong. I would do anything in this world for you. I took from you all that was soft, and safe and good.”

Franke also told the court: “For the past four years, I’ve chosen to follow counsel and guidance that has led me into a dark delusion,” she said. “My distorted version of reality went largely unchecked as I would isolate from anyone who challenged me.”

Hildebrandt, 54, also offered a statement, saying she desired for the children to “heal physically and emotionally”.

“One of the reasons I did not go to trial is because I did not want them to emotionally relive the experience which would have been detrimental to them. My hope and prayer is that they will heal and move forward to have beautiful lives,” she added.

The case has brought renewed attention to what is described as “sharenting”, or when parents broadcast and promote their parenting skills, while aiming to make money from such a venture. Critics of the practice warn of the dangers of invading a child’s privacy and ethical violations.

Last August, Illinois passed a law broadly mirroring California’s 1939 Coogan Act, that protects the earnings of child performers, to protect children whose lives are shared on social media for profit.

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Ahead of her arrest, Franke’s severe parenting style had led some viewers to report her to authorities. Insider reported that some viewers called child protective services in 2015 when their son Chad, then 15, said he had slept on a beanbag for seven months.

In another, Franke said she and her husband, Kevin, told their two youngest children they would not receive gifts from Santa Claus because they had been selfish and did not respond to punishment, including being kept home from school and cleaning the floorboards.

Attorneys for Franke claimed Hildebrandt had “systematically isolated” her from her family and caused their client to adopt a “distorted sense of morality”. After husband Kevin filed for divorce in December, lawyers for Franke said their client Ruby was “devastated” but that she understood his reasoning and respects his decision.

, 2024-02-21 12:32:10 ,
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