YouTuber Ruby Franke Has Been Sentenced To Up To 60 Years In Prison For Felony Child Abuse. Here’s Everything You Need To Know.

It comes two months after Ruby admitted to punishing her youngest son for drinking water, “cutting off” his oxygen, kicking him while wearing boots, and more after convincing him that he was “evil” and needed to repent.

This article contains descriptions of child abuse.

Six months after being arrested and charged with felony child abuse, former YouTuber Ruby Franke has been sentenced to up to 60 years in prison.

closeup of her in court

For some context, Ruby shares six kids — Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell, and Eve — with her now-estranged husband, Kevin. She formerly offered parenting insight on YouTube under the channel “8 Passengers,” with her videos sparking controversy numerous times over the years.

Last August, Ruby was arrested and charged with six counts of felony child abuse after her youngest son escaped the home of her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, while “emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and duct tape around the extremities.”

After the little boy approached a neighbor for help, cops found another one of Ruby’s children — who was also malnourished — at Jodi’s house, too. Jodi was also arrested and charged with the same counts as Ruby.

Four of Ruby’s children, who were minors, were ultimately placed in the care of the Department of Child and Family Services after she and Jodi were arrested.

A few months later, in December, Ruby and Jodi pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree felony aggravated child abuse — and a bunch of horrific new details about her case came to light.

ruby talking into a camera

Per her public plea agreement, Ruby admitted to physically abusing her 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter, both of whom suffered “severe emotional harm.” Her son was forced to do physical tasks outdoors in the summer for “hours and days at a time,” and was sometimes made to “remain outside at all hours of the day and night for extended periods of time” — which purportedly resulted in the child suffering “serious sunburns” that blistered.

Both Ruby’s son and daughter were purportedly “denied food and water” and “isolated” from others. After the little boy once attempted to run away, he was forced to have his hands and feet bound, with Ruby further admitting to kicking him while wearing boots and “cutting off” his oxygen by covering his nose and mouth with her hands.

The plea agreement states that Ruby tried to convince her children that they were “evil” and that the abuse was being done out of “love” because they needed to repent.

Now, Ruby has been sentenced to up to 60 years in prison following a Feb. 20 court hearing.

ruby walking into the court room, escorted by a cop

During the hearing, which was streamed live on the Washington County 5th District Court’s website, Ruby was given four consecutive 1–15-year sentences, meaning that she could spend between 4 and 60 years in prison. Her business partner, Jodi, was also given 4 consecutive one to 15-year sentences.

Side profile of Ruby Franke at a sentencing hearing, seated next to an attorney, with onlookers in the background

Ruby broke down in tears during the hearing as she apologized to her kids and recalled her “distorted version of reality.”

closeup of ruby speaking into a camera

“For the past four years, I’ve chosen to follow counsel and guidance that has led me into a dark delusion,” she said. “My distorted version of reality went largely unchecked as I would isolate from anyone who challenged me.”

“To my babies, you are a part of me. I believed dark was light and right was wrong. I would do anything in this world for you. I took from you all that was soft, and safe, and good,” she said.

Ruby added, “Kevin, my husband of 23 years, you are the love of my life. I am so sorry to leave to you what we both started together.”

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.

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