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YouTube mom Ruby Franke sentenced for child abuse charges

Franke and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, will each serve four consecutive sentences of one to 15 years each.
YouTube mom Ruby Franke to be sentenced for child abuse
Posted at 8:10 AM, Feb 20, 2024

Former internet sensations Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt were sentenced Tuesday in Utah after both pleading guilty to several counts of child abuse in 2023.

Franke appeared before the judge first and received four 1-15-year sentences in prison, one for each of the four counts of child abuse to which she pleaded guilty in December. She will serve each sentence consecutively, as determined by her plea agreement.

Hildebrandt received the same sentence as Franke, four 1-15 year sentences in prison to be served consecutively for each of the four counts of child abuse to which she pleaded guilty.

SEE MORE: Who is Ruby Franke, '8 Passengers' YouTuber charged with child abuse?

During Franke's appearance, LaMar Winward, her lawyer, as well as a tearful Franke, delivered statements to the judge and courtroom. Winward said his client has expressed remorse since being in custody and was indoctrinated.

"Ruby Franke has become a serious student in her own actions," he said in part. "Ruby Franke is a delightful, respectful and responsible person."

Then, Franke delivered a prepared statement, crying as she read.

"My charges are just, they offer safety to my family, accountability to the public and they did show mercy to me."

She expressed sorrow to her family, including her husband, children, parents and siblings.

"For the past four years, I have chosen to follow counsel and guidance that have led me to a dark delusion," Franke added."

She additionally thanked detectives, local law enforcement and medical professionals for their work since her arrest.

"The moment she handcuffed me was the moment I gained my freedom," she said.

Shortly after Franke's sentencing, Hildebrandt appeared before the judge to be sentenced. The prosecution called Hildebrandt a "risk to the community" and said she had shown no remorse for her actions.

Hildebrandt and her lawyer, Douglas Terry, also delivered statements during the hearing.

"My experience with Ms. Hildebrandt is she is not the person she has been portrayed to be," Terry said, claiming his client showed accountability when entering into the plea agreement.

Hildebrandt then delivered short remarks, with her lawyer clarifying afterward that his client recognizes her and Franke's actions harmed the children.

"I sincerely love these children," Hildebrandt said tearfully. "I desire for them to heal physically and emotionally."

Prison time was inevitable for Franke and Hildebrandt, who both pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse in their respective plea deals, admitting to abuse of Franke's two youngest children.

When she pleaded guilty, Franke called the abuse her children faced, "acts of love."

Franke's plea deal stipulated she would serve all four sentences consecutively. Each of the counts brings a prison sentence between 1-15 years; however, those terms are flexible and up to the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole.

This story was originally published by Lucy Nelson at Scripps News Salt Lake City.


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