Here’s A Breakdown Of The Horrific New Details From YouTuber Ruby Franke’s Child Abuse Case After She Pleaded Guilty To 4 Felony Counts

According to a new plea agreement, the mom-of-six admitted to kicking her youngest son while wearing boots, holding his head under water, denying him “sufficient food,” punishing him for drinking water, and more.

This article contains descriptions of child abuse.

This week, former YouTuber Ruby Franke pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse.

Ruby is mom to six kids: Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell, and Eve. She formerly ran the now-defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” where she offered parenting advice along with her husband, Kevin.

Ruby’s videos had sparked controversy multiple times over the years that her channel was live. One of their most controversial moments involved banning their eldest son, Chad, from his bedroom for seven months for pranking his younger brother. Ruby also once casually revealed that she’d refused to drop lunch at school for then-6-year-old Eve after the little girl had forgotten it.

On Aug. 30, Ruby and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, were arrested and charged with six counts of felony child abuse. They were arrested after Ruby’s youngest son escaped Jodi’s house and approached a neighbor for help. The little boy was found “emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and duct tape around the extremities,” and upon further investigation, cops found another one of Ruby’s children — who was also malnourished — at Jodi’s house.

Closeup of Ruby Franke

Appearing in court on Dec. 18, Ruby entered a plea agreement, under which she pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse and agreed to serve prison time. In Utah, where Ruby is situated, second-degree aggravated child abuse can be charged if the defendant “intentionally or knowingly” inflicts “serious physical injury” upon a child.

Closeup of Ruby Franke

Each charge carries a sentence of 1 to 15 years in prison, meaning that Ruby could serve between 4 and 60 years. Her sentencing hearing is currently set to take place in February 2024.

At one point, Ruby purportedly said, “With my deepest regret and sorrow for my family and my children, guilty.”

According to her public plea agreement, which reveals horrific new details of the abuse that her children endured, Ruby admits that she tortured her 12-year-old son between May 2023 and August 2023 by forcing him to do physical tasks for “hours and days at a time,” such as “wall sits” and “carrying boxes full of books up and down stairs.”

The little boy was also made to work outside without shoes in the summer heat, and was sometimes “forced to remain outside at all hours of the day and night for extended periods of time.” Per the plea agreement, this resulted in the young child suffering “repeated and serious sunburns” that blistered.

Closeup of Ruby Franke

The agreement later states that the child was denied “adequate water” and “sufficient food,” and was punished when he was caught drinking water in secret. He was also “isolated from other people” and “denied all forms of entertainment,” including electronics and books.

In July, the young child attempted to run away. The plea agreement states that afterwards, he was forced to have his hands and feet regularly bound, sometimes with rope and handcuffs that cut into his skin.

Per the plea agreement, Ruby also admitted to kicking her young son while wearing boots, holding his head under water, and “cutting off” his oxygen by placing her hands over his nose and mouth.

Ruby purportedly tried to convince the little boy that he was “evil” and “possessed,” and that he needed to repent and “willingly be obedient” in order to avoid the “necessary” punishments. The agreement also states that the child was told “that what was being done to him were acts of love.”

Ruby also reportedly admitted to physically abusing her 9-year-old daughter, who, according to the plea agreement, was also “isolated and forced to do physical tasks,” “denied food and water,” and repeatedly told she was “evil and possessed.” Ruby caused both children “severe emotional harm,” the agreement states.

If you are concerned that a child is experiencing or may be in danger of abuse, you can call or text the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 (4.A.CHILD); service can be provided in over 140 languages.

Topics in this article

Skip to footer