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Ruby Franke’s husband files for divorce after her child abuse arrest

The husband of disgraced parenting blogger Ruby Franke has filed for divorce, three months after his wife and her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt were arrested on allegations of child abuse.

According to a domestic relations injunction obtained by NBC News, Kevin Franke filed for divorce in the 4th District Court of Utah.

The filing means the two parties are prohibited from harassing each other, committing domestic violence against each other or their children or disparaging each other to their kids, according to the injunction.

The injunction is effective until a divorce is finalised, the petition is dismissed or the parties agree to dissolve it.

Mr Franke’s attorney Randy Kester previously told Today.com in October that the Frankes had been separated for 13 months “at Ruby’s directive”.

“Kevin did not want to be separated,” Mr Kester said. “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.”

Mr Franke previously claimed his marriage completely changed when Ms Franke became business partners with Ms Hildebrandt, who he said “manipulated” him and “destroyed his family.”

Ms Franke was arrested along with her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt (Instagram/Moms of Truth)
Ms Franke was arrested along with her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt (Instagram/Moms of Truth)

Ms Franke, who is being held without bail until her next court hearing, is not currently represented by a divorce lawyer, according to the filing.

It comes after Ms Franke was arrested along with her business partner Ms Hildebrandt back in August when Ms Franke’s 12-year-old son escaped through a window and ran to a neighbour’s home pleading for food and water, according to authorities.

The boy was severely malnourished and had “deep lacerations from being tied up with rope and from his malnourishment,” according to court documents.

The condition of the child was said to be “so severe” that he was transported to a local area hospital.

Following this encounter, police received information that other children could also be at risk at a nearby home.

Officers arrived at the home and carried out a search, where they found another 10-year-old girl in a “similar physical condition of malnourishment”. That child was also transported by EMS to hospital for treatment.

Court documents also alleged that Ms Hildebrandt had used cayenne pepper and honey on the wounds on Ms Franke’s children’s bodies.

Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety said that the Department of Child and Family Services was contacted and four minor children were taken into the agency’s care.

The two women, who ran a parenting and lifestyle YouTube channel together, were each charged with six counts of child abuse after two of Ms Franke’s children were found malnourished and neglected.

Authorities allege the two children were under Ms Hildebrandt’s “direct care” at her home when the incident happened.

Kevin Franke had not had any communicating with his children over the past 13 months, according to attorney (8 Passengers/YouTube)
Kevin Franke had not had any communicating with his children over the past 13 months, according to attorney (8 Passengers/YouTube)

Allegations had been made about Ms Franke in an online petition as far back as 2020, while her husband was still in the picture.

Ms Franke also ran a separate now-deleted YouTube channel with Mr Franke, showcasing their strict parenting techniques and punishments.

Ms Franke ran a popular YouTube channel called 8Passengers. In one video, she said she and her husband had decided to withhold Christmas presents from their two youngest children as punishment for what she described as selfish behavior.

In other videos, Ms Franke discussed withholding food from her children, as well as making her son sleep on a beanbag chair instead of his bed for an extended period of time as punishment for pulling a prank on his younger brother.

Ms Franke had told Business Insider at the time that this sleeping arrangement was Chad’s “choice” after he stopped sharing a room with his younger brother amid behavioural concerns.

Mr Franke has denied any knowledge of the alleged abuse and was not living with Ms Franke and his children at the time of the arrests.