Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt are not leaving anytime soon. The two company partners, who were arrested on August 30, face six counts of felony abuse (each) and will stay in police custody until their next scheduled hearing on Thursday (September 21).
Franke has been in police custody at the Washington County, Utah jail since her arrest, and she had her first court appearance, although remotely, in front of 5th District Court Judge Eric Gentry on Friday (Sept. 8). District Judge John Walton will preside over her and Hildebrandt’s cases from now on.
Next hearing 21.09.23 both Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt will be held without bail, with rumours Franke has been moved to the medical unit until further notice. #rubyfranke #8passengers pic.twitter.com/yVk2vwTBUP
— Ashleigh Yeo 🏳️🌈 (@ashleigh_yeo) September 8, 2023
Reportedly, technological issues with the broadcast, which over 1,000 people watched, postponed the hearing on Friday. Felony child abuse carries a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison (75 years total) and a $10,000 fine ($60,000 total).
Ruby Franke and her husband, Kevin Franke, became famous for their ‘8 Passengers’ YouTube channel, which featured their six children. They launched the page in 2015 but stopped producing videos in 2022 after receiving a lot of criticism for their parenting beliefs.
Ruby Franke, a YouTuber known for her strict online parenting advice, has been charged with six counts of aggravated child abuse, after her 12-year-old son, appearing “emaciated and malnourished,” ran to a neighbor’s home and asked for food and water, authorities said. pic.twitter.com/owIsu8kXsL
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) September 8, 2023
While that was the end of their page, Ruby Franke decided to continue her’momfluencer’ career by appearing on Jodi Hildebrandt’s ‘Connexions’ life coaching podcast, where the controversial, moot, and concerning parenting ideologies (as well as their political and discriminatory comments) continued.
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A petition (with 18,000 signatures) was circulated in 2020, requesting that the family be investigated by Child Protective Services, but nothing came of it. The police sought to intervene two years later, but nothing came of it. Things came crashing down on August 30 when a neighbour expressed concern.
Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt are reportedly being held without bail, according to local reports from their pre-trial hearing.
Here’s a rundown of who these women are, what they’re accused of and the growing criticisms of the family YouTuber space. pic.twitter.com/dw4A2N7HVI
— Kalhan (@KalhanR) September 8, 2023
One of Franke’s sons escaped and approached a neighbour for food and drink. He was supposedly ’emaciated,’ with wounds all over his body and duct tape wrapped around his ankles and wrists. When the police got to the house, they discovered another youngster in the same condition as Ruby and Jodi.
Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt Have Not Pleaded
Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt have not pleaded or made any statements about their arrests. TODAY contacted their attorneys, Douglas Terry for Hildebrandt and LaMar Winward for Franke, but they declined to comment.
The husband of influencer Ruby Franke, who was arrested for child abuse, denies involvement. The attorney for Kevin Franke says his client is distraught by how the allegations have impacted his family. @kaynawhitworth reports. pic.twitter.com/vrpFQSPbxr
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 6, 2023
Ruby Franke’s husband Kevin Franke denies involvement in alleged child abuse. pic.twitter.com/QPWvExs9aJ
— E! News (@enews) September 8, 2023
“He’s gentle, and no one’s ever accused him of physically abusing those kids or anyone else. Kester called his client a ‘good person.’ He wants to bring his kids back, teach them, and protect them.
Ruby Franke’s sisters confirmed the children’s safety in the days after the arrest, but they still have a long rehabilitation path. They said Ruby’s arrest was long overdue and that they’ve worried about the kids. We’ll know soon.
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