Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt Will Remain in Police Custody Without Bail After Being Charged With Six Counts of Child Abuse

Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. The two business partners, who were arrested on August 30, are facing six counts of felony abuse (each) and will remain in police custody until their next scheduled hearing – which is currently scheduled for Thursday (September 21).

Franke has been in police custody at Washington County, Utah jail since her arrest and made her first court appearance on Friday (Sept. 8) in front of 5th District Court Judge Eric Gentry – albeit virtually. From this point forward, her and Hildebrandt’s cases will be overseen by District Judge John Walton.

Friday’s hearing was initially delayed after the court experienced technical difficulties with the livestream – it was reported that more than 1,000 people tuned in. If convicted of the crimes, each count of felony child abuse will carry a maximum of 15 years in prison (75 years total) and a fine of $10,000 ($60,000 total). 

RELATED: Ruby Franke and Podcast Co-Host Arrested and Charged With Aggravated Child Abuse After Child Asks Neighbor for Help

Many of you might remember Ruby Franke from YouTube – she and her husband, Kevin Franke, rose to fame with their ‘8 Passengers’ YouTube page, which featured their six children. They started the page in 2015, but stopped posting videos in 2022 after receiving a lot of backlash over their parenting ideologies.

While that marked the end of their page, Ruby Franke decided to continue her ‘momfluencer’ career by joining Jodi Hildebrandt on her ‘Connexions’ life coaching podcast – where the controversial, moot, and concerning parenting ideologies (as well as their political and discriminatory comments) continued.  

A petition in 2020 (which received 18,000 signatures) requested the family be investigated by Child Protective Services, but nothing came of it. Two years later, the police attempted to get involved, but nothing came of it. Things finally came crashing down on August 30 when a neighbor felt concerned. 

One of Franke’s sons escaped the home and asked the neighbor for food and water. He was allegedly ‘emaciated,’ had wounds on his body, and had duct tape around his ankles and wrists. When the police arrived at the home, they found another child in a similar condition before arresting Ruby and Jodi. 

Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt Have Yet to Enter a Plea

The two suspects – Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt – have yet to enter a plea for their charges, nor have they released any statements regarding their arrests. Likewise, their attorneys (Douglas Terry for Hildebrandt and LaMar Winward for Franke) declined to respond for comment when asked by TODAY.

Meanwhile, Kevin Franke – the husband of Ruby Franke – is claiming that they’ve been living apart from one another for the past 13 months and is currently fighting to get his children back. His lawyer, Randy Kester, recently sat down for an interview with Good Morning America in an attempt to clear his name. 

“He’s a very gentle guy, and no one’s ever made any allegations that he’s ever physically abused those kids or anyone else. He just wants to do what’s best for his kids and get them back, get them under his tutelage and his fathership and protect them,” Kester said of his client – adding he’s a ‘good person.’ 

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In the days following the arrest, Ruby Franke’s sisters came forward and confirmed the children are now safe – though they do have a long road to recovery. The described Ruby’s arrest as a long time coming and claimed that they’ve been concerned about the children for quite some time. We’ll learn more soon.

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