Lawyer for husband of YouTube mom charged with child abuse speaks out

Kevin Franke's attorney said the Frankes had been separated for over a year.

ByAlondra Valle, Kirk Cohall, and Sean Sanders via logo
September 6, 2023, 3:59 PM

The lawyer for Kevin Franke, husband of Ruby Franke, the popular YouTuber mom who is facing six felony counts of child abuse, is speaking out, nearly a week after news of Ruby Franke's arrest was released.

In an interview with "Good Morning America," Randy Kester, the attorney for Kevin Franke, called the father a "very gentle" person.

"He is a good person. He is very gentle," Kester said. "And no one's ever made any allegations that he's ever physically abused those kids, or anyone else."

The Frankes share six children and rose to fame by offering parenting advice on YouTube, some of it controversial. For example, in one instance, Ruby Franke received criticism online for saying she had kept food from her kids as punishment.

"I'm not even gonna let you have breakfast until you get your chores done," she was seen saying in a since-deleted YouTube video.

In another YouTube video, Ruby Franke was heard saying of her kids, "Up until now, I was really hoping that keeping them home from school and wiping the floorboards would like really bring pain."

The Frankes have been separated and living in separate homes for the past 13 months, according to Kester, who added that Kevin Franke has been "distraught" at the allegations against his wife, and their impact on his family.

PHOTO: Kevin and Ruby Franke are pictured in a still from an undated YouTube video clip.
Kevin and Ruby Franke are pictured in a still from an undated YouTube video clip.

Kester added that Kevin Franke's main objective is the safety of his kids. "He just wants to do what's best for his kids, get them back, get them under his tutelage and his fathership and protect them," Kester said.

In a YouTube video that also has since been deleted, Ruby Franke's sister, Bonnie Hoellein, said family members had tried to intervene for the safety of the Frankes' six kids before her sister was arrested and charged.

"We all did as much as we could legally," Hoellein said in the video, a clip of which was shared on TikTok. "And you don't know what you don't know."

Ruby Franke was arrested last week in Ivins, Utah, after authorities said her 12-year-old son escaped through a window and ran to a neighbor's house, where he pleaded for food and water.

According to police, the neighbor described the 12-year-old in a phone call to police as emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds. Court documents also described the boy as having "deep lacerations from being tied up with rope."

Police also said they found the Frankes' 10-year-old daughter malnourished.

Following Ruby Franke's arrest, police said her other four children were taken into the care of Utah's Division of Child and Family Services. An official with that agency told ABC News it cannot comment on any case specifically.

Ruby Franke is due in court Friday and has not yet entered a plea. An attorney representing her told ABC News they have no comment on the case at this time.