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Disgraced family YouTuber Ruby Franke tortured children by starving and shackling them, court documents reveal
19 December 2023, 20:48
Details of family vlogger Ruby Franke’s torture, including starving and shackling her children, have become public a day after she pleaded guilty to felony child abuse.
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Ruby Franke, 41, admitted to abusing two of her six children over the last year and now faces 60 years in prison.
The vlogger took off 30 years of the maximum term she could have faced with her plea agreement, which includes information about how the mother-of-six tortured two of her children.
Franke’s YouTube channel, 8 Passengers, garnered 2.3 million subscribers, where the mother and her husband dished out controversial parenting advice.
Many of her viewers found the Mormon mother's parenting tops too harsh - for instance, she refused to take her daughter's lunch to school after she forgot it, as it was the little girl’s own "responsibility".
In the newly released documents, the Franke is described as violent and believed her children were "evil" and "possessed".
Her victims, aged 12 and 9, were forced to live outside and work barefoot in the Utah summer heat.
Her nine-year-old daughter, called EF in court, was forced to run barefoot down dirt roads.
Another son, aged 11, was made to stand in direct sunlight for four days at a time.
They would often be shackled and handcuffed, denied food and physically punished if caught trying to sneak in sips of water.
The handcuffs would cut through the children’s skin but Franke and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, would cover the wounds with duct tape, to then place the cuffs over.
In addition, the 'momfluencer' would kick them with heavy boots, hold their heads underwater, and try to block their airways by holding her hands over their noses and mouths.
In August of this year, the children were rescued after one of Franke’s emaciated sons escaped to a neighbour's house, begging for food and water.
In court, Franke admitted to the abuse with "sorrow and regret".
In previous statements, she claimed via her attorney that she was manipulated by Hildebrandt.
Franke will be sentenced on 20 February 2024.
It was revealed, by the time she was arrested, that Franke's husband divorced her in November over their differences in parenting styles.