Ruby Franke's Sister Speaks Out After YouTuber Is Sentenced to Prison for Child Abuse

YouTuber Ruby Franke Sentenced in Child Abuse Case

Content warning: This story discusses child abuse.

Ruby Franke's sister has broken her silence after her YouTuber sibling was sentenced to prison for child abuse.

Bonnie Hoellein shared a video of herself spending time with her four children during a family RV road trip. "A world full of distractions, and I only have eyes for them," she captioned the Feb. 23 Instagram post. "Satan himself could not come close to making me harm them. #valentinesday #valentines2024."

On Feb. 20, Ruby, a parenting influencer who documented her family life in Utah with now-estranged husband Kevin Franke and their six children on the now-deleted YouTube channel 8 Passengers, was given four consecutive one to 15 year prison sentences (equal to four to 60 years), two months after pleading guilty to four counts of second-degree aggravated child abuse.

"I am humbled and willing to serve a prison sentence," she told the judge during the Utah court hearing. "I understand this is going to take time."

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Ruby also apologized to her ex and their kids. "For the past four years, I've chosen to follow counsel and guidance that has led me into a dark delusion," she said. "My distorted version of reality went largely unchecked as I would isolate from anyone who challenged me."

Ruby continued, "To my babies, you are a part of me. I believed dark was light and right was wrong. I would do anything in this world for you. I took from you all that was soft, and safe, and good."

Ruby's business partner Jodi Hildebrandt also received a four to 60 year prison sentence on Feb. 20, and had also previously pleaded guilty to four counts of child abuse.

Ruby, 42, and Jodi, 54, were arrested last August after one of the Frankes' sons, 12, climbed out a window at the latter's home and went to a neighbor's house, asking for food and water. He was found emaciated and bearing open wounds and duct tape on his ankles and wrists, according to an affidavit obtained by NBC News.

Instagram / Bonnie Hoellein

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Police also found his sister, 10, inside the home and in a similar malnourished condition, the document said. Ruby and Kevin's four minor children were then taken into the care of Utah's Division of Child and Family Services.

Following the women's arrests, several of Ruby's sisters spoke out against her.

"For the last 3 years we have kept quiet on the subject of Ruby Franke for the sake of her children," Bonnie, Ellie Mecham and Julie Deru wrote in a joint statement shared to Instagram in August. "Behind the public scene, we have done everything to try and make sure the kids were safe."

Bonnie, a fellow YouTuber, later spoke about her estrangement from Ruby, saying in a September 13 video that her sister and Kevin cut her family off years ago. She went on to slam her sister's controversial extreme parenting techniques as well as her company.


"My thoughts towards Ruby and Jody and Kevin and ConneXions is that it was all bullcrap," she continued. "It was it was complete indoctrination of this thing that they created. I knew that they were off."

Bonnie added, "I am not my sister. I am not my sister's mistakes."

E! News previously attempted to reach a rep for Ruby but contact information was not made available and attempts to reach her directly were unsuccessful. Kevin was not been arrested or charged in the case and his lawyer said on Good Morning America in September that his client has been living apart from Ruby for over a year and was "distraught" over how the allegations had affected his family.

Read on for a complete timeline of the case.

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