“We’d lock ourselves in the bedroom because we’re scared. We just didn’t know how his behavior was going to be from one day to the next.” Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, ABC 20/20
“Children report abuse and neglect/domestic violence by father...” CPS screened out maltreatment report, 10/28/2011
Why is the State of Minnesota and the media covering up the abuse of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and children at the hands of David Rucki? Media portrayals of the Grazzini-Rucki case have sensationalized this tragic case at the expense of the children; and embraced the identified abuser David Rucki, and his co-abuser sister, Tammy Jo Love, as “victims”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The true victims are the five Rucki children.
David Rucki is not a “victim” – he is an abuser. Domestic violence does not simply end when the victim leaves the relationship but will continue in the attitude and actions of the abuser, and the tactics they use to gain power and control. Abusers will manipulate the legal system and triangulate people/professionals in order to intimidate, control and further abuse the victim from afar. This is what is happening in the Grazzini-Rucki case.
When the Rucki children bravely spoke up to disclose abuse and expressed fear of their father, every level of the system that should have protected them – CPS, family court, police, therapist, GAL etc – not only failed but enabled the abuse to continue. Numerous reports of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse have been documented. Numerous police reports and CPS reports have been filed. Numerous OFP violations, with a CPS report filed after one violation. The Rucki children came forward with their own statements, in their own words – writing letters, speaking to Judge Knutson, and many others about the abuse, stating they are afraid of their father, David Rucki. The Rucki children displayed behavioral and emotional symptoms consistent with abuse, witnessed by multiple people who have interacted with them. In fact, when Rucki was awarded sole custody of the children, he was on probation for a domestic violence charge with an OFP violation. Further, a social worker appointed to the care of the runaway Rucki girls in November 2015 determined that in her professional opinion abuse did occur, there is a real safety concern, and the Rucki girls needed to be protected from their father. Instead of being protected, the Rucki child were court ordered to live in abuse; and now Dakota County is covering up the abuse to hide their own failures.
David Rucki’s history demonstrates a propensity towards violence. Repeated attempts to address his behaviors (that included anger management, probation, and reunification therapy) have all failed.To claim that Rucki – who has terrorized his family and the community- is a “victim” is outrageous and a slap in the face to victims of domestic violence, and abuse, everywhere.
Consider this – a small sample of documentation showing that David Rucki is an abuser NOT a “victim” :
12/3/1994: David Rucki instigates a violent bar fight, and had to be hauled away by police after he refused to leave. The police report notes, “Def started to argue and swear and at one time threatened to get tough with employees…Def swore and hollered at officers all the way to the jail.” https://www.scribd.com/doc/310795988/filename-1-1-pdf
2/27/2011: Neighbors install security cameras on their home because of David Rucki. Rucki tells police the neighbors are “pricks” and police reports notes, “David seemed agitated and displeased with officers during the entire encounter.” https://www.scribd.com/doc/310801970/11000672-Report
6/20/2011: “This letter is to validate that my family has heard David Victor Rucki of 19675 Ireland Place, Lakeville, MN yelling at and cursing my family, police officers and also his own wife and children… In our near decade of living next to him I have found him to be a very angry individual who rages at anyone who has contention or confronts him.” The letter goes on to say,”As police reports can verify, he has boldly cursed profanely at, and tried to strongly intimidate, Lakeville’s female animal control officer. It is logical to conclude he is capable of more towards those more vulnerable, such as his wife and children.” – Statement from a Neighbor Semantigans (Red Herring Alert)
“I am asking the Court for this additional relief to clarify and extend the Order (the existing OFP) to keep the children and I safe. David has already plead guilty to violating the Order, and has engaged in criminal conduct that may well result in another criminal charge for an additional violation. He believes he is above the law and no one can stop him. I am pleading for the Court to send a strong message that this behavior has to stop, and that the Order for Protection has meaning and should be taken seriously.” – Amended Petition for Order for Protection, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, November 2011
“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 to GAL Julie Friedrich about Rucki children, Feb 6, 2013
6/12/2014: David Rucki’s road rage incident – resulting in criminal charges. Rucki was on probation for this incident when his two eldest daughters, who had ran away from his abuse in April 2013, were returned to his care. The victim says Rucki came after him and punched him once, knocking him to his knees. He said Rucki punched him 2 or 3 more times then casually walked away. The victim sustained significant injuries to his face and had to be hospitalized. https://www.scribd.com/doc/310792136/14002058-Report
Social worker reports, “G.R. was interviewed on 11/23/2015. She reports that dad was always screaming at mom. Neighbors called their home the ‘Scream House’.” G.R. describes abuse at the hands of her father, David Rucki, and states that she is not being influenced by her mother. She also states she would consider a relationship with her father in the future, when she is ready and has a choice. https://www.scribd.com/doc/316692570/SamiRucki
5/23/2016: “This is a case where there is no factual dispute. The Dahlens allowed the two Rucki girls to stay at their ranch because the girls, as they have stated numerous times prior to arriving and after leaving the ranch, did not want to return to their father’s home out of extreme fear of abuse…We have an entire church community that are willing to come down from Herman, Minnesota to confirm and testify that the Dahlens allowed the Rucki girls to stay there based on their reasonable belief that those girls would suffer physical, sexual or substantial emotional abuse if they returned to their father.” Dahlen Investigative Report
Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was convicted after 75% of defense evidence was withheld by Judge Karen Asphaug. Suppression of defense evidence made it impossible for Sandra to prove the affirmative defense claim she raised, and effectively forced the jury to find her guilty.
“It is an affirmative defense if a person charged under subdivision 1 proves that:
(1) the person reasonably believed the action taken was necessary to protect the child from physical or sexual assault or substantial emotional harm..” 609.26 DEPRIVING ANOTHER OF CUSTODIAL OR PARENTAL RIGHTS
The truth will set you free, but in the case of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki (and now Dede Evavold), suppression of truth resulted in a felony conviction, and jail.