**Apology by Ruby Franke during Sentencing for Child Abuse on YouTube**

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Ruby Franke, a mother of six from Utah who previously offered parenting guidance to a vast audience through a once-popular YouTube channel, issued a heartfelt apology to her children for the physical and emotional mistreatment they endured. This apology came just before a judge sentenced her to a maximum of 60 years in prison on Tuesday.

Franke, addressing Judge John J. Walton, expressed her acceptance of the sentence without seeking a reduction. She took a moment to express gratitude to local law enforcement, medical professionals, and social workers whom she referred to as the “angels” that rescued her children from her harmful influence. She attributed her actions to being under the sway of her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, a mental health counselor from Utah. Hildebrandt, who initially worked with Franke’s youngest son before becoming her business associate, also received a sentence of up to 60 years in prison on the same day.

In her emotional statement, Franke acknowledged the pain she caused her children, despite their absence during the sentencing. She lamented how her genuine intentions to prioritize her children were twisted into something destructive due to external influences. She expressed deep regret for depriving her children of safety and security, acknowledging the manipulation that led to such distressing outcomes.

Franke and Hildebrandt admitted guilt to four counts of aggravated child abuse. Their offenses included attempts to convince Franke’s two youngest children that they were malevolent, possessed, and in need of punishment for repentance. The arrests occurred at Hildebrandt’s residence in Ivins, Utah, following a harrowing incident where Franke’s 12-year-old son managed to escape and seek help from a neighbor, leading to police involvement.

The severity of the abuse was evident from the boy’s physical condition, as he was found malnourished, injured, and restrained with duct tape. Reports revealed that Hildebrandt subjected the child to further torment by tying him up and using cayenne pepper and honey to treat his wounds.

Prosecutor Eric Clarke described the environment created by Franke and Hildebrandt as akin to a “concentration camp-like setting,” drawing parallels to the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. Despite Franke demonstrating remorse and cooperation, Hildebrandt displayed less contrition, shifting blame onto the children. However, Hildebrandt’s attorney emphasized her acceptance of responsibility for her actions and her genuine concern for the children’s well-being.

Hildebrandt, in her court statement, expressed love for the children and a strong desire for their physical and emotional healing. She opted for a plea deal to spare the children from the trauma of testifying in a trial. Both Franke and Hildebrandt pleaded guilty to a portion of their charges, with the sentences for each count ranging from one to 15 years, to be served consecutively.

The duo’s abusive actions starkly contrasted with their public personas as influencers in the parenting community. Prior to their arrests, the Franke family faced criticism for controversial parenting choices showcased in their YouTube content. The fallout from these revelations led to the termination of their YouTube channel, “8 Passengers,” and Kevin Franke, Ruby’s husband, filing for divorce.

Franke and Hildebrandt have a 30-day window to appeal their sentences.