Parenting YouTuber Ruby Franke denied bond on child abuse charges

Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Parenting advice YouTube influencer Ruby Franke has been denied bond in a Utah court where she faces felony charges of child abuse.

Franke, 41, and her podcasting associate Jodi Hildenbrandt, 54, were ordered to remain in Washington County, Utah, jail during a virtual hearing held Friday before District Court Judge Eric Gentry.

Gentry ruled that Franke will remain held in jail until her next hearing, now scheduled for Sept. 21.

The onetime YouTube influencer and her partner were charged with six counts of aggravated child abuse and arrested last week.

Franke ran the "Eight Passengers" YouTube channel with her husband Keith, which focused on the couple's six children and parenting advice.

The channel had about 2.5 million subscribers at its peak, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

In 2020, the couple faced backlash after they posted a video showing their son Chad introducing his new bedroom. In the video the boy said, "My bedroom was taken away for seven months," and "I was sleeping on a beanbag since October."

The video led to speculation that the couple had abused their child, a claim the pair vehemently denied.

The Tribune reported that Franke was visited twice last year by police responding to claims of child mistreatment.

She was arrested on Aug. 30 after her 12-year-old boy escaped through a window from the residence of Franke's associate Jodi Hildenbrandt and asked a neighbor for food and water.

The child showed signs of malnutrition and the neighbor called law enforcement and said, "he's hungry and he's thirsty."

When police arrived at the residence, they found a 10-year-old child who doctors evaluated to be malnourished.

KSL-TV reported that police were called to Franke's home 15 times between 2019 and 2023.