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YouTube star held without bail after getting six child abuse charges

 September 9, 2023

YouTube influencer Ruby Franke has been charged with child abuse and is currently being held without bail in a Utah facility.

In a shocking recent turn of events, Franke and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, were scheduled for a virtual court hearing last Friday in St. George, Utah.

However, due to technical glitches, the hearing faced delays, as the Daily Mail reported.

Court hearing disrupted

The State Court indicated on its official X (formerly Twitter) account:

We understand that everyone is having trouble accessing the Franke/Hildebrandt hearing. We currently have 1,100 people in the hearing and are trying to add more.

Over a thousand online users accessed the public meeting link, leading to a disruption as they attempted to survey the proceedings. It remains uncertain if the hearing proceeded without being streamed.

Whereabouts of the accused

Utah Courts confirmed Franke's absence from the hearing after a delay of over 30 minutes from the scheduled time.

According to the latest reports from KJZZ 14, Franke, initially in a holding cell, has now been shifted to the medical block at the Purgatory Correctional Facility. Similarly, Hildebrandt is also not eligible for bail and remains in custody.

The anticipation among court watchers was palpable, with many community members and local journalists eagerly waiting for the hearing to commence.

However, their wait ended in disappointment when the court announced the hearing's cancellation due to technical issues with WebEx, which had reached its maximum capacity.

Backstory of the arrest

A prominent YouTube personality, Franke, along with Hildebrandt, was arrested last month after serious allegations were made.

One of her sons was discovered by a neighbor, bearing open wounds and limbs bound with duct tape. Consequently, both defendants were charged with six counts of felony child abuse.

In a recent appearance, 41-year-old Franke was seen via video from a Utah jail, where she remains on a no-bail hold.

During a shelter hearing for her four minor children to decide their custody, Franke broke down multiple times.

Addressing the courtroom on Thursday, the mother became emotional as she made startling allegations that one of her younger children molested a sibling as well as several other family members and neighborhood children over the years.

Harrowing 911 call exposes grim conditions

Franke's claims shocked everyone present, including her husband Kevin, who remained stoic alongside his attorney.

During the hearing, an unexpected request came from an attorney in the public gallery, seeking to introduce evidence about another child's molestation. This request was promptly denied by the presiding judge.

Further spotlight was cast on the case when the distressing 911 call that prompted Franke's arrest was made public.

The call captures the moment when a neighbor came to the aid of her 12-year-old son.

The Good Samaritan had contacted the police after an "emaciated" boy, bearing open wounds and duct tape, approached him for help. The boy had reportedly escaped from Hildebrandt's residence.

The caller, struggling with his emotions, stated,

I just had a 12-year-old boy show up here at my front door asking for help... He is emaciated. He's got tape around his legs. He's hungry and he's thirsty.

Other victims discovered

Later investigations revealed another disturbing discovery.

A 10-year-old girl, believed to be Ruby and Kevin Franke's daughter, was also found by the police in a similarly appalling condition.

A statement by the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department described the severity of the situation, revealing that two juveniles were found in a malnourished state and required immediate medical attention.


  • Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt face severe child abuse charges.
  • Technical difficulties plagued their virtual hearing, resulting in its cancellation.
  • Franke is now in a medical block of the Purgatory Correctional Facility.
  • Disturbing allegations emerged during Franke's recent court appearance.
  • A harrowing 911 call exposed the grim conditions of a 12-year-old boy.
  • Another child, a 10-year-old girl, was later found in a similarly distressed state.