Film Producer Pleads Guilty to Abuse

( – Former family vlogger Ruby Franke’s business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, admitted guilt on Wednesday to four charges of second-degree aggravated child abuse.

Franke and Hildebrandt often worked together on films offering relationship and parenting advice for ConneXions, Hildebrandt’s controversial life coaching business.

The now-defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers” featured Franke, the mother of six, sharing parenting tips and family life with approximately 2.3 million members.

After running from Hildebrandt’s Utah house, the police discovered one of Franke’s children thin with open wounds; inside her home, they found another youngster in a similar state.

Hildebrandt and Franke were arrested in August, and they were both charged with six counts of felony child abuse.

In a Utah court, Judge John Walton accepted Hildebrandt’s plea offer and dropped two charges. The settlement outlined the inflicting of “physical torture” and “serious mental trauma” on the children. On February 20, Franke and Hildebrandt will be sentenced,

This month, Franke pled guilty to four charges of child abuse. As part of her plea agreement, Franke consented to testify against Hildebrandt.

In a statement issued before her hearing, the legal team representing Franke said that Hildebrandt had “systematically separated” Franke from her family and exposed her to a “distorted sense of morality” as a result of her influence.

The statement states that Franke believed Hildebrandt “had the foresight to give a roadmap to continued growth” initially. As the statement went on to say, Hildebrandt “took advantage of this quest and twisted it into something terrible.”

According to Hildebrandt’s LinkedIn profile, ConneXions began providing parenting and relationship classes in 2007. A number of its ex-members have claimed that its doctrine is based on Mormon or LDS (Missionary David Smith) doctrines.

According to ex-clients, the program urged members to break ties with anyone who didn’t adhere to its teachings.

Hildebrandt, often featured in ConneXions videos with Franke, was described as a “trained mental fitness trainer” on the website. In now-deleted YouTube videos, the two individuals advocated isolating everyone who did not adhere to “truth,” including minors.

The family was allegedly investigated in June 2020 after a petition demanded their investigation. The petition included now-deleted video footage of her son, who was then a teenager, saying that he had slept on a beanbag for seven months as a kind of punishment for behavioral difficulties.

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