COURTS & LEGAL

Attorney says Ruby Franke will enter plea agreement Monday on child abuse charges

Dec 15, 2023, 7:11 PM | Updated: Dec 18, 2023, 11:25 am

HURRICANE — Ruby Franke, a Utah mother who was once a popular family vlogger, will enter a plea agreement on child abuse charges Monday, according to her legal team.

Franke, 41, well known for her now deleted “8 Passengers” YouTube channel, was arrested in August on suspicion of child abuse.

Winward Law, representing Franke, released a statement to media Friday stating that Franke “anticipates resolving this matter quickly by entering a plea agreement.” It states she is a devoted mother and is committed to constant improvement.

It also states she believed Jodi Hildebrandt — also arrested and booked on suspicion of two second-degree felony counts of aggravated child abuse — took advantage of Franke’s quest for improvement and “twisted it into something heinous.”

Legal analyst Greg Skordas told KSL that how much the plea helps Franke, is unknown.

“A plea bargain entails that there is some acceptance of responsibility, some plea to a lesser charge…  and we’ll just have to see what that is,” Skordas said.

Skordas says he believes prosecutors may now be resetting their focus on the Hildebrandt.

“It’s not uncommon at all when you have cases involving multiple co-defendants for the state to go to one perhaps that is the least culpable of the others and get them to help the state’s case,” he said. “That seems to be what’s happening here.

The statement claims Franke has engaged in introspection since she was jailed.

“That has allowed her to reset her moral compass and understand the full weight of her actions,” according to the statement.

It states that Franke is aware that her husband has filed for divorce and was devastated but acknowledges and understands her husband’s anger and reasoning.

The full statement is below:

Winward Law is making a statement on behalf of Ruby Franke regarding the pending charges in the Washington County 5th District Court along with her thoughts about her current family situation. Our client is working with the prosecutor’s office and anticipates resolving this matter quickly by entering a plea agreement with the court on Monday, December 18th.

Ruby Franke is a devoted mother and is also a woman committed to constant improvement. Initially, Ms. Franke believed that Jodi Hildebrant had the insight to offer a path to continual improvement. Ms. Hildebrant took advantage of this quest and twisted it into something heinous. Over an extended period, Ms. Hildebrant systematically isolated Ruby Franke from her extended family, older children, and her husband, Kevin Franke. This prolonged isolation resulted in Ms. Franke being subjected to a distorted sense of morality, shaped by Ms. Hildebrandt’s influence.

During Ruby Franke’s incarceration in Washington County jail over the past few months, she has actively engaged in an introspection that has allowed her to reset her moral compass and understand the full weight of her actions. Ms. Franke is committed to taking responsibility for the part she played in the events leading up to her incarceration. Demonstrating a sincere dedication to personal growth and rehabilitation, she has actively begun the process by reaching out to members of her family. Through heartfelt apologies, she seeks to mend relationships and contribute positively to the healing journey of her family.

Ruby is aware that Kevin Franke has filed for divorce. While she is devastated by this news, she acknowledges and understands his anger and reasoning. Despite the pain, she respects his decisions and remains hopeful that, with time, she can contribute to rebuilding trust and fostering understanding within their family. Ruby has offered her full cooperation to help the children reunite with their father.

Winward Law recognizes the profound love that Ms. Franke holds for her children, and we are genuinely saddened that she found herself on this challenging path under the influence of Ms. Hildebrant. It is our firm belief that Ms. Franke is a devoted mother who, unfortunately, was led astray. She is sincere in her commitment to securing the best possible future for her family, and we remain hopeful that, with the right support and understanding, she can navigate a path of healing and growth.

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Attorney says Ruby Franke will enter plea agreement Monday on child abuse charges