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Ruby Franke with her lawyer: allegations of manipulation against her business partner

Photo: Sheldon Demke / AP

The US parenting blogger Ruby Franke has to go to prison for several years because she abused her children. According to the verdict of a judge in the state of Utah, she faces between 4 and 30 years in prison, as “Today” reported, among others. Franke's business partner Jodi Hildebrandt was sentenced to the same sentence. The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has yet to determine the length of the sentence.

Franke pleaded guilty in December to four counts of serious child abuse. The abuse included the mother of six denying her children food and water and kicking her son with boots. She also held his head under water. Franke told her children, according to CNN, that the punishments were necessary for them to be obedient and repent.

"I have taken from you everything that was soft, safe and good"

Before the verdict, Franke tearfully apologized to her children, who were not present. "I will never stop crying because I hurt your tender souls," said the 42-year-old. But she also stated that she was manipulated by her business partner. “My willingness to sacrifice everything for you has been masterfully transformed into something very ugly. I have taken from you everything that was soft, safe and good." In a brief statement, Hildebrandt did not apologize, but said she loved the children and wanted them to heal.

The case came to light after Franke's 12-year-old son escaped from Hildebrandt's house and asked a neighbor to call the police. The boy was emaciated at the time and had duct tape around his ankles and wrists. Franke and Hildebrandt were arrested in August.

Franke's YouTube channel "Eight Passengers" now had around 2.5 million followers. However, the blogger has been criticized since 2020. Among other things, it was about the fact that she had apparently denied her eldest son his room for seven months and he had to sleep on his bean bag because he had played a prank on his younger brother. In other videos, Franke talked about refusing to bring one of her children lunch to kindergarten that they had forgotten at home. She also threatened to cut off the head of a little girl's stuffed animal to punish her for cutting up things in the house.

In another post, Franke said that she and her husband told their two youngest children that they wouldn't get presents from Santa this year because they had been selfish. Franke's husband Kevin Franke has since filed for divorce.