Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt Face Child Abuse Charges: Remanded in Custody Without Bail

Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt
Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kevin Franke, Ruby Franke’s husband, claims they’ve been apart for 13 months and is battling for his children. Randy Kester, his lawyer, appeared on Good Morning America to clear his name.

“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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