Ruby Franke Case Update: Business Partner and Co-Defendant Jodi Hidlebrandt Surrenders Counseling License
Ruby Franke and Jodie Hildebrandt are still being held without bail in the Washington County Jail on six felony counts of child abuse.
Franke and Hildebrandt were arrested in St. George at the end of August after Franke's 12-year-old son went to a neighbor's house covered in duct tape on the hands and wrists asking for food and water. The neighbor contacted the police and the boy required medical treatment; an earlier Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department press release said.
Franke’s daughter was later found malnourished in Hildebrandt’s house located in Ivins by responding police. She also required medical treatment.
Hildebrandt was a licensed counselor working out of her home in Ivins with Franke for an online program called ConneXions. The website said the program is meant “to help treat those lost and stranded in the darkness of distortion–which addictions, fear, sadness, and all other self-destructive behaviors derive from.”
As of Tuesday, Sept. 19, Hildebrandt reportedly surrendered her professional counseling license, the Salt Lake Tribune said.
The licensing agency has been working with the Utah Attorney General’s office to make sure she would not be able to practice even if she is released. Hildebrandt will not be able to practice in any way until/if the child abuse case is examined more thoroughly, a hearing is had, a disciplinary agreement is made with the licensing division, or there is not enough evidence.
This is not the first time that Hildebrandt's license has been in peril. In 2012, the Utah State Department of Professional Licensing put her on probation for “unprofessional conduct in her practice as a counselor and violated the Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association.”
The SLT reported that Hildebrandt had been counseling a couple on “pornography addiction” and then proceeded to share details repeatedly with clergy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the BYU Honor Code Office. She was on probation for 18 months.
Her most recent licensing surrender was voluntary.
Franke and Hildebrandt were scheduled for a court appearance on Monday which was postponed since attorneys said they needed more time to “review copious amounts of discovery.” The next date will be scheduled for some time after Oct. 5, but no exact date has been given.