Who Is Ruby Franke's Estranged Husband? All About Kevin Franke

Kevin Franke filed for divorce from Ruby Franke in November 2023, months after she was charged with child abuse

<p>8 Passengers / YouTube</p>

8 Passengers / YouTube

Ruby Franke's estranged husband, Kevin Franke is speaking out.

Shortly before the former YouTube vlogger was sentenced to 4 to 60 years in prison for child abuse on Feb. 20, 2024, Kevin's attorney Randy Kester spoke with Law & Crime about her sentencing.

"The treatment these children received at the hands of those whom the children had a right to trust, was horrific and inhumane, both physically and psychologically," Kester told the publication. "Kevin remains focused on the rehabilitation of these sweet and vulnerable children so that they might return to a normal life as soon as possible."

The couple gained public attention through their YouTube channel “8Passengers,” which portrayed their strict parenting style towards their shared six kids.

The family's account later raised eyebrows from skeptics, who worried about the Mormon family’s strict household. Controversy began around 2020 when an online petition called on child services to investigate Ruby’s strict parenting practices.

In 2022, Roby stopped posting on 8Passengers and joined her ex-business partner and therapist Jodi Hildebrandt on her “ConneXions” podcast. In August 2023, both Ruby and Hildebrandt were arrested.

Related: Former Parenting Youtuber Ruby Franke and Ex-Business Partner Sentenced to Prison for Child Abuse

In back-to-back hearings on Feb. 20, Ruby and Hildebrandt were sentenced to prison after four convictions each of aggravated child abuse.

Each received four separate prison sentences for 1 to 15 years, which will run consecutively, according to TODAYKSL 5 and KUTV. The length of each prison sentence will ultimately be decided by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole, according to Utah's Deseret News. However, the women will not serve more than 30 years due to a Utah law regarding consecutive sentences, Business Insiderreports.

Ruby claims Hildebrandt directed the abuse. She has admitted in a 10-page plea agreement reviewed by PEOPLE that she had kicked her son Russell, held his head under water and covered his mouth and nose with her hands so he could not breathe.

Here's what to know about Ruby's estranged husband, Kevin Franke, who has not been charged with any crime.

He shares six children with Ruby Franke

Ruby and Kevin Franke and their children.
Ruby and Kevin Franke and their children.

Kevin shares six children with Ruby: Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell, and Eve. Their kids, who range from ages 10 to 20, were featured on their now-defunct 8Passengers YouTube channel.

Four of their children were taken into child protective services following Ruby’s arrest in August 2023. Her estranged, oldest daughter Shari celebrated authorities arriving at the family’s home.

“Finally,” Shari wrote on the platform alongside a photo of police at the house.

“Today has been a big day," Shari wrote on Instagram. "Me and my family are so glad justice is being served. We've been trying to tell the police and CPS for years about this, and so glad they finally decided to step up."

Related: Disgraced Parenting YouTuber Ruby Franke Hired Private Investigator to Probe Angry Followers (Exclusive)

He and Ruby Franke previously documented their life on YouTube

<p>Moms of Truth/ Instagram</p> Ruby Franke of 8 Passengers.

Moms of Truth/ Instagram

Ruby Franke of 8 Passengers.

Ruby and Kevin began documenting their life as parents to six children in 2015, uploading vlogs on their now-deleted 8Passengers YouTube channel. According to Insider, it amassed about 2.5 million followers before it was shut down.

8Passengers eventually came under scrutiny around 2020 when followers began to grow worried about the Mormon family’s strict household. Numerous people signed an online petition asking child protective services to investigate the Franke family.

Kevin was featured in many of the YouTube videos, including one where he appears to "support the decision to send their son, then 14, to the Anasazi Foundation Wilderness Therapy Program," according to Today.

In the clip, Kevin said, "(What) many of you are criticizing or calling abusive are actually things that mental health professionals have counseled us to."

Ultimately, 8Passengers was deleted by YouTube in the wake of Ruby's arrest.

He and Ruby Franke were reportedly separated at the time of her arrest

<p>Ron Chaffin/St. George News via AP</p> This image from video shows Ruby Franke during a hearing Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in St. George, Utah.

Ron Chaffin/St. George News via AP

This image from video shows Ruby Franke during a hearing Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in St. George, Utah.

Kevin's lawyer, Randy Kester, told Today in September 2023 that his client and his wife had been separated "at Ruby's directive" for approximately 13 months. He added that "Kevin did not want to be separated."

Kester explained, "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."

In 2021, Ruby and Kevin began marriage counseling with Hildebrandt. Divorced and estranged from her own two kids, Hildebrandt founded the therapy group ConneXions in 2012.

Promising on her website to “help you flourish in your relationships,” Hildebrandt offered marital and parenting counseling to “dispose of distortion’s ugly lies in order to live in Truth, connection, and freedom.”

During counseling, Hildebrandt suggested that the couple separate to save their marriage, Kester previously told PEOPLE. Kevin has since filed for divorcemoved out and stopped communicating with his family at Hildebrandt’s direction.

Related: A Timeline of Ruby Franke's Rise and Fall: From Family Vlogger to Convicted Child Abuser

He wasn't charged with any crimes when Ruby was arrested

Ruby and Hildebrandt were arrested on Aug. 30, 2023, and were charged with multiple counts of child abuse after two of Franke's children were allegedly found “emaciated and malnourished” at Hildebrandt’s home in Ivins, Utah, police said at the time.

Kevin, who shares six children with Ruby, was not charged with any crimes.

During an interview with Good Morning America in September 2023, Kevin's lawyer Kester described his client as a "very gentle" person who had no role in his children's abuse. "No one’s ever made any allegations that he’s ever physically abused those kids or anyone else," Kester said.

When speaking to Today that same month, Kester said that Kevin was currently working on mending his relationship with his children.

"[Kevin] is making an effort to rebuild and bridge these relationships rather than sling mud and point fingers," he told the outlet. "He is focused on doing what is best for his kids at this point, even if that means undergoing some introspection."

He filed for divorce in November 2023

<p>8 Passengers / YouTube</p> Kevin and Ruby Franke of the YouTube channel 8 Passengers.

8 Passengers / YouTube

Kevin and Ruby Franke of the YouTube channel 8 Passengers.

Though the couple has reportedly been separated for over a year at “Ruby’s directive," Kevin officially filed for divorce from his wife in November 2023. The filing came months after Ruby was first charged with felony child abuse.

According to court records reviewed by PEOPLE, Kevin filed a petition for divorce, which is sealed under Utah law. Also filed was a domestic relations injunction, which ordered both Ruby and Kevin not to harass each other or disparage the other in front of their children, according to the court document.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.