Ruby Franke’s ex targets Jodi Hildebrandt in lawsuit for abuse

Posted at 11:58 AM, April 15, 2024

UTAH COUNTY, Utah (Court TV) — The estranged husband of YouTuber Ruby Franke has filed a lawsuit against the woman who, along with his ex-wife, pleaded guilty to abusing the couple’s children.

Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt appear in court.

Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt appear in court. (Scripps News Salt Lake City)

Ruby and her friend and business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, were each sentenced to 4-60 years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of child abuse in December.

The father of the four children who were victimized was not charged in the case and told Court TV through his attorney after filing for divorce that he had no knowledge of the conditions in which his kids were living. Randy Kester, who represents Kevin Franke, told Court TV that Hildebrandt had been hired as a marriage counselor for the couple, and pushed for him to move out of the house. Kevin moved into an apartment, where he said he was in isolation and unable to communicate with or see his children.

WATCH: Attorney: Jodi Hildebrandt Forced Ruby Franke’s Husband Out of Home

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, is asking for an unnamed sum for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligence. The lawsuit details the horrendous abuse the children, identified only by their initials, went through at the hands of their mother and Hildebrandt.

Kevin said in the suit that Ruby moved her children into Hildebrandt’s Ivins home on or about May 22, 2023, while Kevin was living in Utah County. Kevin said he had no knowledge that the children were being moved to another home.

While charging documents in Ruby and Hildebrandt’s cases offered insight into the severity of the abuse the children suffered, Kevin’s lawsuit offers further detail about what happened inside the multi-million dollar Ivins home. The two children named in the lawsuit as being the primary victims are R.F. and E.F., who were 11 and 9 at the time. The two were often confined “to a room in the home and/or basement of the home, from which they were not allowed to leave … these children were strictly prohibited from leaving the premises of the Ivins home, under threat of further or increased punishment … or going to jail.”

READ MORE: Evidence released shows severity of abuse in Franke and Hildebrant case

Brutal punishments detailed in the lawsuit included R.F. being forced to spend hours or days at a time doing physical labor: wall sits, carrying boxes full of books up and down stairs and working outdoors without shoes or water. R.F. was also regularly bound after an attempt to run away.

“When he was caught by the Defendant and Ruby, he was taken home and his hands and feet thereafter were regularly bound, including being tied to multiple weights. Many times, the binding included two sets of handcuffs, one on his wrists and one on his ankles. At times, while R.F. was lying on his stomach, ropes were used to tie the two sets of handcuffs together so that his arms and lower legs were lifted off the ground in a hogtied fashion. These bindings resulted in injuries to his wrists and ankles where the handcuffs cut through the skin and damaged muscle and tissue.”

E.F. received similar treatment, was forced to run barefoot on dirt roads and was “physically forced or coerced to jump into a cactus multiple times.”

While the damages are unspecified, Kevin references the professional help both he and his children have needed to recover from the abuse, saying that his “children’s personalities, emotions and psyches were so damaged and altered that it was beyond Father’s capability to restore them without professional intervention.”

Among Hildebrandt’s assets is the home where the abuse occurred, listed at more than $5 million.