Home U.S. NEWS YouTuber mom Ruby Franke arrested and charged with child molestation

YouTuber mom Ruby Franke arrested and charged with child molestation

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YouTuber mom Ruby Franke arrested and charged with child molestation

Controversial mother vlogger Ruby Franke has been arrested and charged with six counts of aggravated child abuse.

Frank and her family ran the popular YouTube channel “8 Passengers” for years. Among other things, she is known for taking her son’s bed as punishment for months and withholding Christmas presents from two of her six children.

She was arrested and charged, along with a psychologist whom she asked for advice on raising her parents and with whom she collaborated to create videos.

Ruby Franke and clinical mental health counselor Jodi N. Hildebrandt, a mother who works with Franke, are currently in custody; Hildebrandt was also charged with six counts of serious child abuse, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Hurricane, Utah.

What happened to Ruby Franke?

According to a press release from the Santa Clara-Ivins Department of Public Safety, the women were arrested Aug. 30 after the dispatcher received a call about a youth who “appeared emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and tape around him around.” Extremities.”

“The youth asked for food and water,” the press release said. The child’s condition was “so serious,” the official statement said, that he required medical attention at a local hospital.

“Police have received information that there may be other youths in a similar condition at a nearby home,” the press release said.

At that other home, police found another young person “in a similar physical condition of malnutrition” who was also hospitalized.

Police obtained a search warrant for the home and said “evidence was found consistent with markings found on the youth.”

“Four minor children were placed in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services,” the press release said. “Jodi Hildebrandt and Ruby Franke were arrested in connection with the incident.”

“Due to the sensitivity of this case, no further information is being released at this time,” the press release said.

Utah defines serious child abuse as when a person “causes serious physical harm to a child” or allows someone else to cause serious harm to a child in their care.

Washington District Attorney Eric Clarke told TODAY.com Sept. 1 that each woman has been charged with six counts of aggravated child molestation. Either way faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, Clarke’s office said.

“In these cases, there are two juvenile victims, and each defendant is charged with causing or allowing the victims serious physical harm in three different ways: (1) a combination of multiple physical harm or torture, (2) endangering starvation or malnutrition life and (3) cause severe emotional damage,” Clarke’s office said in a release.

On September 1, before the charges broke, Ruby’s sister Bonnie Hoellein posted a YouTube video titled “My Testimony to My Sister Ruby Franke,” which has since been deleted. NBC verified the authenticity of the video.

“This week was nothing I could have expected,” Hoellein said in the video. “If you have the internet, you’ve seen news articles about my sister Ruby from the 8 Passengers… I don’t think any of us could have predicted that.”

Hoellein referred viewers to a post on her Instagram account, which read, “For the past three years, for the sake of her children, we have remained silent on the subject of our sister Ruby Franke. We did everything we could behind the public stage.” I could try to make sure the kids are safe.

She added: “Ruby was arrested, which had to happen. Jodi was arrested, which had to happen. The children are safe now, which is a top priority.”

Neither Franke nor Hildebrandt have an attorney listed in their public records. TODAY.com made several attempts to contact both women through various channels, but received no response.

Here’s what else you should know about Ruby Franke and her family.

Who is Ruby Franke?

Ruby Franke and her husband Kevin Franke have six children together.

The Frankes launched their YouTube channel, 8 Passengers, in 2015 when their youngest child was about 10 months old, Ruby told Cwic Media last year. At times, the account, which is no longer available on YouTube, had more than 2 million subscribers.

“I might have been a little bit bored at home… I wanted to expand my skills, I wanted to learn… And so I just started filming little things, like my two-year-old crawling onto the counter and pouring cereal,” she said “I kept the camera rolling … people started watching how I would react.”

In the Cwic interview, Franke said her content is relevant to both mothers and older children. According to Franke, she received “hundreds and thousands” of comments from strangers saying “I wish you were my mom” and “I want to be you.”

Franke also said during the interview that her children were “entitled” and she sought the advice of Hildebrandt, a self-proclaimed “mental fitness coach.”

Why is Ruby Franke so controversial?

Longtime viewers of the station have expressed concerns about some of the Frankes’ parenting tactics.

When one of their sons was 14, the Frankes enrolled him in the Anasazi Foundation Wilderness Therapy Program, which bills itself as an “outdoor behavioral health program” for children ages 12 to 17 who are dealing with “despite, family conflicts, mental health , lack of “struggling motivation” and “other self-defeating behaviors”.

In a video, the parents said their son would live in the Arizona mountains for between eight and 10 weeks. The Frankes did not want to reveal the reasons for their child’s expulsion. Rather, Kevin Franke said, “It’s an accumulation of things over the years,” adding that their son needs to “develop some very basic maturity and skills.”

In another incident, the same son explained in a video that his mother took his bed away from him for seven months because he pranked his brother.

“I’ve been sleeping on a bean bag chair since October,” he said. “They gave me back my room two weeks ago.”

“I don’t think our viewers know that,” remarked Ruby Franke, who was sitting next to her son in the video, later adding, “He was sleeping on the living room floor.”

In 2021, Ruby and Kevin Franke decided to withhold Christmas presents from their two youngest children after encountering what they described as “long patterns of selfishness,” Ruby Franke said in a video posted to Hildebrandt’s ConneXions YouTube channel this year became.

While her siblings unwrapped presents on Christmas morning, the little ones would receive “gifts of truth,” Franke said, which included “limits” and “regrets.”

Ruby Franke noted in the video that keeping her away from school and having the floor cleaned was not an effective punishment.

“We told them they wouldn’t be getting a visit from Santa this year,” she said. “We prepared them and let them know that their four older siblings will have Christmas presents to unwrap on Christmas morning and that they will receive a gift of love from my dad and I. Because we want them to really get a gift.” visceral experience hitting them.

Ruby Franke also threatened to take away her son’s “dinner privilege” for tickling his brother. In another video, she said: “My children are literally starving. I hesitate to say this because it’s going to sound like a mean barbarian, but I told the kids, ‘I won’t even let you have breakfast until you’ve done your homework.’ Completed.'”

In another video, Ruby shared with Franke that she received a text message from her child’s kindergarten teacher telling her that her daughter hadn’t had a packed lunch that day and asking if Franke could deliver it at school.

“I responded and just said, ‘Eve is responsible for making her lunch in the morning and she actually told me she packed a lunch,'” Franke said. “So the natural outcome is she just has to be hungry and hopefully no one is feeding her and no one steps in and gives her lunch because she’s not going to learn from the natural outcome.”

“I hope she’s hungry and comes home and says, ‘Oh man, that was really painful, being hungry all day.’ I’ll make sure I always have lunch with me.’”

What did Ruby Franke say?

In her Cwic interview, Ruby said she was surprised by her public image as a mean mom.

“I got slapped in the face in shock because people didn’t like responsibility,” she said of the backlash. “I went from being a beloved YouTube mom to a neglectful, abusive mom almost overnight… I was shocked.”

In 2021, Franke said in an interview with The Wrap that child protection services had visited her home the year before.

“I remember that morning very well,” she told the outlet. “These officers – they were two ladies – said there had been multiple complaints of child abuse and child neglect. Could you come over and spend some time?”

Franke told The Wrap that the concerns were unfounded and agency staff asked her for parenting advice before she left.

Ruby’s husband Kevin Franke and his attorney did not immediately respond to TODAY.com’s request for comment. TODAY.com also reached out through the 8 Passengers account and received no response.

Who is Jodi Hildebrandt?

According to the Utah Division of Professional Licensing, Hildebrandt is a clinical mental health consultant.

Hildebrandt and Ruby Franke created and published videos on Hildebrandt’s YouTube account “ConneXions Classroom”, which Hildebrandt founded in 2012, she wrote on ConneXions’ website. The ConneXions YouTube channel has been deleted since the arrest.

Also on the ConneXions website, Hildebrandt describes her methods as a way to “help treat those who are lost and stranded in the darkness of distortion from which addictions, fear, sadness, and all other self-destructive behaviors result.”

A spokesman for the Utah Division of Professional Licensing tells TODAY.com that Hildebrandt was disciplined in 2012 and placed on probation for 18 months. After that, her license was restored with all privileges.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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