### Parenting Vlogger from Utah Receives Jail Term for Child Abuse

A mother of six from Utah who provided parenting advice on a popular YouTube channel has been sentenced to prison for child abuse, with prosecutors comparing the conditions her children endured to concentration camps.

Ruby Franke, aged 42, admitted guilt in December to four counts of aggravated child abuse. She was then handed a sentence of one to 15 years in prison for each charge. Franke’s associate, Jodi Hildebrandt, 54, who she referred to as her “mentor,” received a similar sentence.

Operating a now-deleted YouTube channel named “8 Passengers” starting in 2015, Franke initially offered parenting tips. Subsequently, she appeared on a channel managed by Hildebrandt after parting ways with her spouse.

According to Utah prosecutor Eric Clarke, Franke and Hildebrandt subjected two of the children, aged nine and 11 at the time, to conditions resembling a “concentration camp.”

Clarke revealed that the children were routinely deprived of food, water, proper sleeping arrangements, and nearly all forms of amusement. They were kept isolated, concealed from visitors, and compelled to engage in strenuous outdoor labor without adequate footwear, even in scorching summer temperatures. The abuse inflicted upon them resulted in severe physical injuries necessitating hospitalization.

Moreover, Clarke highlighted the emotional abuse the children endured, leading them to believe, to some extent, that they warranted such mistreatment. Fortunately, the elder child eventually mustered the courage to flee and seek help from a neighbor, prompting police intervention. Clarke emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that it was uncertain how much longer the children could have endured such circumstances.

During her sentencing hearing before Judge John Walton, Franke expressed remorse for her actions, attributing her behavior to a distorted perception of the world as a malevolent place governed by corrupt authorities and deceitful individuals. She acknowledged the criminal nature of her actions and vowed to be accountable.

Franke and Hildebrandt are mandated to serve a minimum of four years in prison, with the exact duration of their incarceration to be determined by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole.

Source: AFP