Therapist Jodi Hilderbrandt Faces Court in High-Profile Child Abuse Case Linked to YouTube Vlogger

Jodi Hilderbrandt, a therapist and business partner of former YouTube vlogger Ruby Franke, is due in court today, following Franke’s guilty plea to multiple child abuse charges nine days earlier. According to CBS News, court documents reveal that Hilderbrandt faces six counts of aggravated child abuse, classified as a second-degree felony.

Hilderbrandt’s court appearance is set for 11 a.m. MST, as reported by CBS News affiliate KUTV. She will be presented before the same judge who presided over Franke’s case. To date, neither Hilderbrandt nor her attorney, Douglas Terry, have announced a plea deal similar to Franke’s.

Each count of aggravated child abuse carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The business partnership between Hilderbrandt and Franke involved Hilderbrandt’s counseling business and Franke’s now-inactive YouTube channel, “8 Passengers.”

In a significant development, one of Franke’s children escaped from Hilderbrandt’s Utah residence in September, leading to police involvement. The child was found in a malnourished state with duct tape around his wrists and ankles. Court documents indicate that Hilderbrandt allegedly applied the restraints and treated the injuries with cayenne pepper and honey. Another of Franke’s daughters was also discovered at Hilderbrandt’s home.

Both Franke and Hilderbrandt were arrested on August 30. Evidence from a YouTube video on Hilderbrandt’s channel, featuring Franke, was cited in the court documents. The video, which showed Franke in Hilderbrandt’s home shortly before their arrest, was used to demonstrate their presence and awareness of the children’s situation.

Franke, initially charged with six counts of aggravated child abuse, had two charges dropped as part of her plea agreement. She is scheduled for sentencing on February 20, 2024.

Chris Morris
Author: Chris Morris

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