Ruby Franke: Husband Kevin Franke files for divorce amid YouTuber’s child abuse case

The petition comes three months after Ruby Franke was arrested in Ivins.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kevin Franke, right, is joined by his attorney Randy Kester as he attends a child welfare hearing for he and Ruby Franke's four children in state custody on Sept. 18, 2023, at the Fourth District courthouse in Provo. Kevin Franke filed for divorce this week.

Utah parenting advice YouTuber Ruby Franke’s husband, Kevin Franke, filed for divorce on Wednesday — three months after Ruby Franke was charged with six felony counts of aggravated child abuse.

Ruby Franke and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, were arrested on Aug. 30 after the Frankes’ 12-year-old son escaped Hildebrandt’s Ivins home, which is outside of St. George. A neighbor called police because the boy appeared malnourished and had duct tape on his ankles and wrists.

Responding officers said they found Franke’s 10-year-old daughter also appearing malnourished inside Hildebrandt’s home. The two children were taken to a hospital for medical treatment, court documents state. They and two of Franke’s other children were then placed into state custody.

[Read more: Ruby Franke case: A timeline of events]

Provo-based attorney Randy Kester said in September that Kevin Franke has been separated from Ruby for about a year, and that the husband “didn’t know anything” during that time about any alleged abuse. Kester did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.

Ruby Franke remains in custody in Washington County, where she is being held without bail.

Kevin Franke’s formal petition for divorce Wednesday was classified as private, according to court records, but a domestic relations injunction filed in the case that is publicly available states that neither of the parents can disparage or attempt to influence the children’s views of the other parent.

Throughout the separation, Kevin Franke had been living alone but providing for the family financially, Kester has said. Shortly after Ruby Franke’s arrest, Kevin Franke moved back into the family’s empty Springville home.

Ruby Franke last appeared in court on Nov. 14 for a speeding ticket, which was filed five days before her Aug. 30 arrest. The charge was dismissed, and her next hearing in the child abuse case has not yet been scheduled, according to court records.

(Screenshot via WebEx) Ruby Franke appears from Purgatory Correctional facility in a virtual court hearing at the Santa Clara Justice Court on a speeding ticket infraction on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023.

— Tribune staff writer Kolbie Peterson contributed to this report.