Attorney: Ruby Franke to enter plea agreement on child abuse charges

Posted at 9:47 PM, December 15, 2023

WASHINGTON CO., Utah (Scripps News Salt Lake City) — Once-popular YouTuber Ruby Franke will enter into a plea agreement for the multiple counts of child abuse she faces when she appears before a judge in Washington County on Monday.

Ruby Franke Jodi Hildebrant

Ruby Franke, left, and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, right, made first appearances in a Utah courtroom Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Each woman is charged with six counts of aggravated child abuse in connection with the alleged abuse of Franke’s children. (Scripps News Salt Lake City)

Winward Law, the firm representing Franke, issued a statement Friday confirming their client is working with prosecutors on a plea agreement.

Franke and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, were arrested in August after one of Franke’s children escaped Hildebrandt’s home knocked on the door of a neighbor in Ivins and asked for food and water. The neighbor noticed duct tape on the child’s ankles and wrists and called police, according to court documents.

Police later found one of Franke’s daughters emaciated inside Hildebrandt’s home.

READ MORE: Explosive allegations in divorce between YouTuber Ruby Franke and husband

Both Franke and Hildebrandt were charged with six counts of aggravated child abuse. The two had previously collaborated on parenting advice videos for ConneXions.

In the statement, Franke’s attorneys appear to place blame on Hildebrandt, claiming Franke is a “devoted mother” who was taken advantage of by a person she trusted.

“Initially, Ms. Franke believed that Jodi Hildebrant had the insight to offer a path to continual improvement. Ms. Hildebrant took advantage of this quest and twisted it into something heinous,” the statement reads.

Franke’s lawyers say Hildebrant “systematically isolated Ruby Franke from her extended family, older children, and her husband, Kevin Franke. This prolonged isolation resulted in Ms. Franke being subjected to a distorted sense of morality, shaped by Ms. Hildebrandt’s influence.”

RELATED: Bodycam video shows police finding two of Ruby Franke’s children

According to the law firm, Franke has “engaged in introspection” while in jail over the past several months and understands “the full weight of her actions.”

Franke allegedly wants to take responsibility for her part in what occurred with her children.

“Demonstrating a sincere dedication to personal growth and rehabilitation, she has actively begun the process by reaching out to members of her family,” the law firm’s statement continued. “Through heartfelt apologies, she seeks to mend relationships and contribute positively to the healing journey of her family.”

This story was originally published by Scripps News Salt Lake City, an E.W. Scripps Company.