Kevin Franke, husband of disgraced YouTube vlogger Ruby Franke, filed for divorce on November 29, 2023, In Touch confirmed via online records. Ruby and fellow YouTuber Jodi Hildebrandt were charged with six counts of aggravated child abuse in September 2023, and sentenced to prison in February 2024.
While Kevin only recently filed for divorce, he and Ruby have been separated for much longer.
Who Is Kevin Franke?
Audiences first met Kevin when he appeared on Ruby’s YouTube show, “8 Passengers.” The channel was mostly run by Ruby as she gave viewers a peek into her and Kevin’s life with six children. Kevin only appeared occasionally in the videos, with Ruby doing most of the filming as she showcased everything from her and Kevin’s disciplinary measures to homeschooling tips.
It was the discipline that caused fans to raise their eyebrows, including a video mentioning how Ruby and Kevin withheld meals from their sons as a form of punishment. However, another video revealed that Ruby and Kevin forced their son, Chad, to sleep on a bean bag and lose the use of his bedroom, which led to a visit from child services.
Kevin spoke to Insider after the incident and claimed that a since-deleted video showed Chad’s full story. He added the viewers who found issues with the way he and Ruby punished Chad were those with “malicious intentions.”
Why Did Ruby Franke’s Husband Kevin File for Divorce?
Kevin’s attorney Randy Kester spoke with Today on September 18, 2023, and revealed that his client had been separated from Ruby for “approximately 13 months,” and the separation came from “Ruby’s directive.”
“Kevin did not want to be separated,” Randy told reporters. “He wanted to work through concerns as a family. There was never any formal, written decree of separate maintenance or separation agreement. The separation was under terms proscribed by Ruby and Jodi Hildebrandt.”
Randy also added that Kevin didn’t initially want to divorce, and instead, he hoped his family could heal from the incident. However, the situation seems to have changed.
While the petition was sealed due to Utah laws, the domestic relations injunction obtained by In Touch specified that neither Kevin or Ruby are allowed to “harass, intimidate, or disturb the peace of the other party, by any means, including electronically.”
It also added that both parties must not “disparage or demean” the other in the presence of their children along with not allowing either party to “the children on non-routine travel” unless it was under certain stipulations. The injunction also forbade either of them from “[saying] or [doing] anything that would negatively affect the love and affection of the children for the other party.”
Was Kevin Franke Ever Charged With Child Abuse?
Ruby and Jodi were the only people charged with aggravated child abuse in the case, which left several people wondering how Kevin escaped punishment. The abuse was discovered after Ruby and Kevin’s 12-year-old son escaped Jodi’s house and ran to a neighbor’s home to call the police. Police investigated and discovered that only the Frankes’ two youngest children were in the house, which prompted a search for the rest of them.
Shari Franke, the eldest daughter, helped police track down her siblings by cooperating with the search, and two days later, Kevin attempted to file burglary charges against her. He claimed that she “wasn’t allowed in the house,” in a report obtained by Fox News.
While Kevin was questioned about the incidents that occurred in the home, he was never charged with a crime.
Kevin Franke Files Motion to Make Jodi Hildebrandt Pay for Kids’ Medical Treatment
In January 2024, Kevin asked a Utah judge to make Jodi pay for two of his children’s medical care in the wake of the abuse they suffered at her hands.
Court documents called requiring the victims and their family to pay for their psychological and physical treatment a “completely inequitable result,” per ABC4.
The documents failed to mention Ruby’s part in the abuse, for which she plead guilty the previous month.
Kevin Franke Releases Statement Ahead of Ruby Franke’s Sentencing
On February 19, 2024, one day before his estranged wife’s scheduled sentencing, Kevin released a statement to the Law & Crime Network via his attorney.
“The treatment these children received at the hands of those whom the children had a right to trust, was horrific and inhumane, both physically and psychologically,” the message read, in part. “Kevin remains focused on the rehabilitation of these sweet and vulnerable children so that they might return to a normal life as soon as possible.”
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Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt Sentenced to Jail After Pleading Guilty
Both Ruby and Jodi plead guilty to four of the six charges of aggravated child abuse against them in December 2023. On February 20, 2024, they were each sentenced to four terms of one to 15 years, for a total of four to 60 years in prison each.
Their final sentences will be decided by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole.
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