The July 7th episode of Speechless (starting at 21 minutes) takes an in-depth look at the allegations of abuse in the Grazzini-Rucki case, and discusses how the family court handled those concerns.
–Sandra was not present at the September 2012 emergency court hearing that ordered her out of the home, and prohibited any contact with her children. This means Sandra is not allowed to see her children based on information she did not hear, she did not see, and that she could not rebut. To this day she remains forcibly estranged from her children due to an unjust court order.
– The April 2013 incident were Samantha and Gianna Rucki ran away from home was not the first attempt for the Rucki children to try to run away in order to escape the abuse and dysfunction they were living in. In September 2012, after the emergency hearing, four of the Rucki children attempted to run away from home; which is why the children were placed into the care of a maternal aunt.
– A letter from Dr. James Gilbertson, the court appointed psychologist treating the children indicates the children were afraid of their father, David Rucki, and suggests abuse did occur. The letter also indicates that the focus of therapy was not related to anything Sandra did but rather, dealt with the fear the children had of their father, whom they described as “an angry and violent person”.
–Judge Knutson pushed for reunification therapy after the Rucki children had disclosed allegations of abuse to him, and even after David violated the no contact order with the children.
-David was charged with disorderly conducted in a road rage incident, and on probation, when the run away Rucki girls were returned to his care. The girls had raised concerns about their father’s violent behavior, and expressed fear of him after being “recovered”. The road rage incident proves the violence that David is capable of – and validates the concerns the girls had. The system should have worked to protect the girls, but instead branded them with parental alienation and pushed for reunification, which has endangered their safety.
Please see full the episode and join the discussion in the comments section. The letter from Dr. Gilbertson is posted below.
“It is my opinion that the children’s fear issue needs to be addressed directly, and that can only happen when there is exposure to the specifically feared object, situation or person, i.e. father… “
“I would work with Mr. Rucki to have him present a certain structure and accounting of his own behavior while the family was intact that would acknowledge the volatile family history and express his empathy for the children’s painful memories…” – Letter from Dr. James Gilbertson, Feb 6, 2013.