Ruby Franke Given Maximum Sentencing For Child Abuse

Lifestyle

Infamous mommy vlogger Ruby Franke was sentenced to up to 60 years in prison on Tuesday, months after pleading guilty to four counts of second-degree felony child abuse. Utah Judge John J Walton sentenced Franke to four consecutive prison terms — each of which can require up to 15 years in prison.

Local news outlet KUTV reports that Franke was extremely emotional when given time to speak during sentencing. (Representatives for Franke did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.)

“My charges are just,” Franke said. “They offer safety to my family, accountability to the public. I am humbled and willing to serve a prison sentence.” 

Franke is best known for her popular family vlogging channel “8 Passengers,” where she documented her process of parenting her six children to over 2 million YouTube subscribers. The page often sparked controversy for Franke’s harsh discipline tactics, like withholding lunch, removing bedroom doors, and threatening to throw away her kids’ beloved items. But last August, Franke and counselor Jodi Hildebrandt made headlines after Franke’s son 12-year-old son escaped the house and ran to neighbors for help, who reported to police he had remnants of duct tape around his wrist and was wounded and emaciated. Franke’s 10-year-old daughter was also found in the house emaciated, and the two women were arrested and held without bail. 

After three months in police custody, Franke signed a plea deal in December, admitting that she knowingly inflicted and allowed another adult to inflict serious harm to two of her children. According to the plea deal, Franke’s son was kicked, forced to do consistent labor, often bound by his wrists and ankles, had his head held underwater, and had his oxygen supply cut off. The bindings damaged his skin and muscles, which were treated first with “homeopathic remedies,” and then covered in duct tape before he was once again locked back into handcuffs.

Franke’s daughter was also subjected to forced physical labor and punishments, including running barefoot outside and working on hot days. Both of the children were told that they were evil and possessed, their punishments were necessary acts of love, and they needed to receive the treatment to repent. 

In December, a spokesperson for Franke told People the mommy vlogger was “led astray” and subjected to a “distorted sense of morality, shaped by Ms. Hildebrandt’s influence.” In court Tuesday, Chad and Jennifer Griffiths, Franke’s parents, submitted a victim impact statement asking the judge to “show mercy” and claiming that Franke was “brainwashed” by Hildebrandt’s teachings. “For the past four years, I’ve chosen to follow counsel and guidance that has led me into a dark delusion. My distorted version of reality went largely unchecked as I would isolate from anyone who challenged me,” Franke said in court.

Hildebrandt was also sentenced in court Tuesday, where she was given up to 60 years in prison for her role in the abuse of Franke’s children. “Your conduct in this case was disastrous for these children,” Judge Walton said.

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The Board of Pardons and Parole will determine Franke and Hildebrandt’s exact prison length at a later time. The women each have 30 days to appeal.

Read original source here.

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