Ruby Franke Sentenced to Up to 60 Years in Prison

Photo: Ron Chaffin/AP

Former Utah mommy vlogger Ruby Franke has been sentenced to up to 60 years in prison for child abuse. Back in December, Franke pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse after her malnourished son had escaped from her business partner’s home and asked a neighbor for food and water.

Franke rose to prominence with her YouTube channel, 8Passengers, on which she documented life with her husband and their six children. In her plea, Franke admitted to denying her 12-year-old son food and water, handcuffing him after he tried to run away, and holding his head under water while smothering his nose and mouth. She also admitted to withholding food and water from her 9-year-old daughter and forcing her to run on dirt roads barefoot. Both children were told by Franke that they were “evil” and “possessed.”

In court on Tuesday, Franke apologized to her children, saying, “I would do anything in this world for you. I took from you all that was soft, and safe, and good.” She also thanked the police officer who arrested her back in August of last year. “The moment she handcuffed me was the moment I gained my freedom,” she told her arresting officer.

Franke’s business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, received the same sentence. Utah uses indeterminate sentencing, meaning that they both could serve anywhere between four and 60 years in prison. Each charge carries a minimum of one year and a maximum of 15. After Franke’s first year in prison, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole will determine the length of the rest of her sentence.

Ruby Franke Sentenced to Up to 60 Years in Prison