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February 21, 2024

Social Media Influencer Breaks Down After 60-Year Child Abuse Sentence

A judge handed down a prison sentence of up to 60 years to social media influencer Ruby Franke and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, on Tuesday, for child abuse.

Franke, previously known as a "momfluencer" and host of the YouTube series "8 Passengers," was directed to serve four consecutive counts, each carrying a sentence ranging from one to 15 years, the maximum allowable under Utah's sentencing guidelines.

Franke and Hildebrandt entered guilty pleas in December, with Franke acknowledging to subjecting her children to abuse, including starvation and submersion of their heads underwater, according to the outlet.

The arrests occurred on August 30, following an incident where Franke's 12-year-old son fled to a neighbor's house, disclosing the mistreatment he endured, as detailed by ABC News.

Franke later confessed to employing handcuffs on her son's wrists and ankles, subsequently linking them with a rope to suspend his "arms and lower legs off the ground," as documented by Page Six.

Before her sentencing, Franke expressed remorse, stating, "For the past four years, I've chosen to follow counsel and guidance that has led me into a dark delusion. My distorted version of reality went largely unchecked as I would isolate from anyone who challenged me," as cited by ABC News.

She added, "I was led to believe that this world was an evil place filled with cops who control, hospitals that injure, government agencies that brainwash, church leaders who lie and lust, husbands who refuse to protect and children who need abuse."

Franke was visibly emotional as the court announced her sentence.

"I am humbled and willing to serve a prison sentence for as long as I need," the 42-year-old affirmed.

"I am committed to unlearning my toxic behavior," she emphasized. Hildebrandt received an identical sentence, with the judge reportedly remarking that she had "terrorized" the children.

"I sincerely loved these children. One of the reasons I didn't go to trial is I didn't want them to relive this," Hildebrandt remarked, according to Page Six. The duration of Franke's incarceration will be determined by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole, as reported by ABC News.

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