SALT LAKE CITY, Utah: Ruby Franke, a Utah mother of six who gave parenting advice to millions via a once-popular YouTube channel, has been sentenced to jail for years, if not decades.

She shared a tearful apology to her children for physically and emotionally abusing them before a judge delivered her sentence.

Franke also claimed that she had been “manipulated” by her fellow YouTuber and business partner.

Franke told the judge that she would not argue for a shorter sentence before she stood to thank local police officers, doctors and social workers for being the “angels” who saved her children from her at a time when she says she was under the influence of her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt.

The Utah mental health counsellor, who had been hired to work with Franke’s youngest son before going into business with her, also received four consecutive jail sentences of one to 15 years.

However, the women will only serve up to 30 years in jail due to a Utah state law that caps the sentence duration for consecutive penalties. The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole will consider their behaviour while incarcerated and determine how much time each will spend behind bars.

“I’ll never stop crying for hurting your tender souls,” Franke said to her children, who were not present at the sentencing hearing in St George.

“My willingness to sacrifice all for you was masterfully manipulated into something very ugly. I took from you all that was soft and safe and good.”

Franke, 42, and Hildebrandt, 54, had each pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse for trying to convince Franke’s two youngest children that they were evil, possessed and needed to be punished to repent.

The women were arrested at Hildebrandt’s house in the southern Utah city of Ivins last August after Franke’s 12-year-old son escaped through a window and asked a neighbour to call the police, according to a 911 call released by the St George Police Department.

The boy was thin, covered in wounds and had duct tape around his ankles and wrists. He told investigators that Hildebrandt had put ropes on his limbs and used cayenne pepper and honey to dress his cuts, according to a search warrant.

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