YouTube vlogger Ruby Franke is expected to plead guilty on Monday to charges of aggravated child abuse in Washington County, Utah.
However, the influencer who became known for her tips and videos on parenting is expected to blame her co-defendant and business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, for manipulating her into abusing her children.
The Utah mother of six and Hildebrandt were arrested in Ivins, Utah after Franke’s 12-year-old son escaped Hildebrandt’s home by climbing through a window. The child ran to a neighbor’s home to request food.
The neighbor telephoned the police when they saw duct tape on the child’s ankles. The boy was taken to a hospital, where he was found to be malnourished and suffering from lacerations.
In a 911 call, the neighbor told the dispatcher, “He’s very afraid. I think he’s been detained. He’s obviously covered in wounds.”
The Santa Clara-Ivins police searched the house and found the boy’s ten-year-old sister in a similar condition. The children had open wounds, which had been treated with cayenne pepper. Four children were placed in protective custody.
Ruby Franke set to accuse Jodi Hildebrandt of leading her ‘astray’ in child abuse case
Franke and Hildebrandt were detained at the house and have remained in jail since their arrests on six charges of child abuse.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
Franke’s defense team released a statement on Friday claiming their client hoped to resolve the “matter quickly by entering a plea agreement with the court on Monday, December 18th.”
Franke’s lawyers went on to accuse Hildebrandt of systematically isolating Franke from her family and giving her a “distorted sense of morality.”
The statement also claimed that Franke wished to cooperate with the authorities as much as possible and hoped her children could be reunited with their father, Kevin Franke.
Ruby Franke husband, Kevin Franke, has filed for divorce
Kevin Franke filed for divorce in November. Franke said she was “devastated” by the news but “acknowledges and understands his anger and reasoning.”
In September 2022, an older sibling, Sherri Franke, who had cut ties with her family, reportedly contacted the police, expressing concern about her brothers and sisters. A report was subsequently made to Child and Family Services, but nothing was resolved.
Viewers of Franke’s parental videos complained in 2022 after one of her children said on camera that he had been refused access to his bedroom and was forced to sleep on a beanbag for seven months as a punishment for pranking his sister.
Friday’s statement referred to Franke as a devoted mother, reading, “It is our firm belief that Ms. Franke is a devoted mother who, unfortunately, was led astray.”