• Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023

News Eyeo

All Important News

Parenting YouTuber and associate advised to stay in custody on child abuse charges


Sep 19, 2023

A Utah mother of six, who was known for offering parenting advice through her YouTube channel 8 Passengers, has been accused of abusing her two young children. She and the owner of a relationship counseling company, Jodi Hildebrandt, were arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse. The charges were filed after one of Franke’s sons ran away from Hildebrandt’s home and asked a neighbor to call the police. The boy was found emaciated and had duct tape wrapped around his ankles and wrists. Both children were starved and emotionally damaged, according to court records. Franke’s two other children were also taken into the custody of Child Protective Services.

The virtual court hearing for the accused was delayed due to technical issues, with over 1,300 people trying to log in to watch. The hearing saw both defendants appearing via video from prison wearing orange striped uniforms. Their lawyers waived reading the indictment, and the women did not enter any arguments. They were ordered to remain jailed without bail, and the next hearing was scheduled for September 21. Attorneys for Franke and Hildebrandt stated that they would seek a bail hearing.

The incident has attracted significant attention, with people calling in to watch the hearing and around 50 individuals allowed into the courtroom. The Franke family, who shared their life on video blogs, had faced criticism for their parenting decisions in the past, including banning their eldest son from their bedroom and using threatening methods of discipline. Some critics had even started an online petition calling for the involvement of Child Protective Services. Franke’s eldest daughter announced on social media that she had severed ties with her parents.

The accused, Franke and Hildebrandt, had been operating a counseling company called ConneXions. However, following the indictments, the “ConneXions” video featuring them was removed from YouTube. Authorities in Utah have initiated actions to address Hildebrandt’s clinical mental health counseling license, and a hearing may be held if they refuse to surrender their license. The state Department of Commerce is working with the attorney general’s office on the possibility of holding an emergency licensing board hearing in Hildebrandt’s case.

By Editor

Leave a Reply