Jodi Hildebrandt and Ruby Franke appeared before a St. George courtroom Tuesday for sentencing.

Franke was sentenced to serve one to 15 years in prison for each of the four counts of abuse she pleaded guilty to. Judge John Walton of St. George’s 5th District Court said these sentences would be served consecutively. Though the sentences may add up to 60 years consecutively, Utah Code states that when a court imposes consecutive sentences, the maximum amount of time that can be served is 30 years.

Walton sentenced Hildebrandt to four consecutive terms of one to 15 years in prison for each count of aggravated child abuse. The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole will determine the exact amount of time Franke and Hildebrandt will spend in prison.

Both Franke and Hildebrandt had pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse, a second-degree felony, in relation to Franke’s two children, ages 9 and 11. Franke was a YouTube channel content creator and Hildebrandt, the founder of Connexions Classroom, was her former business partner.

As part of the plea agreement, Franke had agreed to testify against Hildebrandt. They were both arrested in August 2023 after one of Franke’s children ran to a neighbor’s house to ask for help.

“I just had a 12-year-old boy show up here at my front door asking for help. And he said he just came from a neighbor’s house, and we know there’s been problems at this neighbor’s house. He’s emaciated, he’s got tape around his legs, he’s hungry and he’s thirsty,” the man told the dispatcher. Later, in Franke’s plea statement, she admitted to abusing both her son and her daughter by denying them food and water, holding her son’s head under water, physically isolating both children and forcing her daughter to walk barefoot outside in the heat.

During the sentencing, Franke said, “My charges are just. They offer safety to my family, accountability to the public.”

Initially, both women were charged with six counts of child abuse. Two of those counts were removed in the plea deals.

Defendant Jodi Hildebrandt looks on during court Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, in St. George, Utah. Hildebrandt, a Utah mental health counselor who had been hired to work with Rudy Franke’s youngest son before going into business with Franke, received a prison sentence of up to 60 years. Franke and Hildebrandt 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. | Sheldon Demke, St. George News via Associated Press

Correction: An earlier version said the maximum sentence Franke and Hildebrandt could serve is 60 years, but according to Utah state law the maximum is 30 years.