“Arrest of Ruby Franke, ‘8 Passengers’ Parenting YouTuber, on Child Abuse Suspicions”

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Utah Woman Known for Parenting YouTube Channel Faces Child Abuse Charges

Ruby Franke, previously renowned for her popular parenting advice YouTube channel, is now confronting child abuse charges in Utah, following a distressing incident. Alongside her business partner, Jodi Nan Hildebrandt, Franke was arrested in Ivins, Utah, where authorities discovered her malnourished son had escaped their home. Additionally, Ms. Franke’s 10-year-old daughter was found in a similar malnourished condition at her partner’s residence. Both women have been charged with six counts of child abuse.

Escaped Son Prompts Disturbing Discovery

The incident unfolded when Ms. Franke’s 12-year-old son managed to escape through a window and sought help from a neighbor, pleading for food and water. Disturbingly, the child appeared emaciated and malnourished, bearing open wounds and duct tape around his extremities, according to the Santa-Clara Ivins Public Safety Department’s statement. Law enforcement, upon arriving at the scene, observed severe malnourishment and deep lacerations on the boy, resulting from being tied up with rope. Consequently, he had to be hospitalized.

Widespread Implications and Formal Charges

In light of the alarming discovery, officials obtained a search warrant related to the incident. Ultimately, four children were placed in the care of family and child services. Subsequently, on Friday, Washington County officials in Utah formally charged Ms. Franke and Ms. Hildebrandt. The charges encompass alleged abuse in various forms, including physical abuse, malnutrition, and severe emotional harm, each carrying a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000 (£7,940).

Background of YouTube Fame and Controversy

Ruby Franke, aged 41, gained YouTube fame in 2015 with her channel “8 Passengers,” dedicated to parenting her six children. The channel amassed over 2 million subscribers before its deactivation earlier this year. Franke had previously faced criticism for her strict parenting methods, including her son’s claim of sleeping on a bean bag as a form of punishment. She had also mentioned withholding meals as a disciplinary measure, which led to concerns raised by viewers and reports to local child protective services.

Associations and Public Scrutiny

Franke had appeared in YouTube videos posted by Ms. Hildebrandt, a counselor and life coach, on her platform, ConneXions Classroom. The two were featured in videos discussing parenting and children’s mental health. Ms. Hildebrandt had faced scrutiny and probation in the past after publicly discussing a patient without consent, nearly losing her license to be a pornography-addiction therapist.

Eldest Daughter’s Response

Following her mother’s arrest, Ms. Franke’s eldest daughter, Shari Franke, shared her thoughts on Instagram, expressing relief that justice was being served and highlighting their efforts to bring the situation to the attention of authorities for years. Ms. Franke has requested an attorney and has refrained from speaking with officers. As of the report, the attorney’s identity had not been publicly disclosed.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Business Insider

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