Ruby Franke pleaded guilty to four felony counts of second-degree aggravated child abuse as part of a negotiated plea agreement, as reported by USA Today. With an air of regret, the former YouTuber uttered, “With my deepest regret and sorrow for my family and my children, guilty.”
On Monday, a mother of six hailing from Utah, renowned for dispensing parenting tips on YouTube, admitted culpability to charges of child abuse. Her grim fate leads her to imprisonment, all in an attempt to convince her two youngest offspring that they were malevolent, possessed, and necessitated punishment for repentance.
In the courtroom, Ruby Franke, clad in somber grey and white jail attire, pleaded guilty to four felony counts of second-degree aggravated child abuse as part of a negotiated plea agreement, as reported by USA Today. With an air of regret, the former YouTuber uttered, “With my deepest regret and sorrow for my family and my children, guilty.”
Initially faced with six counts of child abuse in September, Ruby Franke saw two counts dropped under the terms of the plea deal. Following the approval of the agreement by Judge John J. Walton, Franke’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 20. The agreement not only confirmed her guilt but also unraveled additional details about the children’s abuse, exposing distressing allegations of possession.
According to Utah law, second-degree aggravated child abuse charges ensue when an individual knowingly or intentionally inflicts severe physical harm upon a child or enables another to do so. The media outlet highlighted that each charge carries a potential sentence ranging from one to 15 years behind bars.
Winward Law, issuing a statement on Friday, contended that Franke’s transgressions unfolded under the influence of a relationship counselor, leading her down a path of “a distorted sense of morality.” While initially perceiving her co-defendant, Jodi Hildebrandt, as a guide to continual improvement, Franke realized that Hildebrandt had exploited her quest, twisting it into something heinous.
Franke’s acknowledgment, as per the plea agreement, revealed a period of torment inflicted upon her son from May 22 to Aug. 30. The abuse encompassed compelling him to endure prolonged physical tasks, outdoor summer labor without adequate hydration, and sustaining “repeated and serious sunburns” resulting in blisters. Deprivation of sustenance and isolation without access to essential resources further compounded the distressing narrative.
Post his escape attempt in July, the juvenile found himself regularly restrained, sometimes with handcuffs, and at times with ropes interlinking the handcuffs, causing harm to his wrists and ankles as his limbs were elevated off the ground, according to details outlined in the plea agreement.
The grim details continued with Ruby Franke confessing to assaulting her son through boot-clad kicks, submerging his head underwater, and covering his mouth and nose with her hands, as per the plea agreement’s disturbing revelations. What’s even more chilling is the statement within the agreement indicating that the victim was told that these acts of physical and psychological torment were expressions of love.
The plea agreement explicitly states, “He was also told that everything that was being done to him was acts of love.” It further reveals that Franke’s daughter “was convinced” that her mother’s proclamations held truth, indicating the depth of psychological manipulation present in this harrowing situation.
The culmination of this distressing narrative came on Aug. 30 when Ruby Franke and Hildebrandt were apprehended after Franke’s 12-year-old son managed to escape from Hildebrandt’s residence in the southern Utah city of Ivins. The escapee sought help from a neighbor, leading to a 911 call released by the St. George Police Department.
The unfolding events surrounding Ruby Franke’s admission of guilt and the distressing details of child abuse paint a chilling portrait of the complexities and depths of human behavior. The legal proceedings ahead will determine the extent of Franke’s accountability, shedding light on a case that goes beyond the realms of conventional understanding.