Grazzini-Rucki Case Suggests Witness Tampering, Continued Abuse of Runaway Rucki Girl

gavel

Because the witness told investigators that her father made her change her story and her story did in fact change from previous statements, it is apparent that witness tampering occurred.” – Motion filed by the Dahlens 12/23/2016

(Dakota County, Minn): More evidence supporting that David Rucki has abused his children in the past, and continues to emotionally and psychologically abuse S.R. emerges from the criminal trial of Doug and Gina Dahlen…

Doug and Gina Dahlen, the couple who sheltered S.R. and G.R. on their therapeutic horse ranch for 2 1/2 years, filed a motion to request an evidentiary hearing regarding witness tampering on 12/23/2016 in Dakota County. (The Dahlens have since plead “guilty” for felony charges of parental deprivation under questionable circumstances).

Read the motion in it’s entirety: Dakota County accused of witness tampering in Doug and Gina Dahlen case

Doug and Gina Dahlen

Doug and Gina Dahlen

The motion was filed to request a hearing to determine whether witness tampering has occurred. The alleged witness tampering is based on David Rucki, the Lakeville P.D. and Dakota County’s treatment towards S.R. – one of the teen girls who fled after Judge David L. Knutson placed her in an unsafe environment.

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

THE DAHLENS: RUCKI SISTERS DISCLOSE ABUSE

The motion details the heart wrenching day that S.R. and G.R. came to the Dahlen family. In late April of 2013, both girls came to the ranch, and according to the motion,”When the girls arrived, both were very emotional, crying and appeared scared. Both girls appeared extremely fearful to the Dahlens. In fact, the Dahlens had never seen two girls so visibly and physically frightened. In essence, they were scared for their lives.

S.R. and G.R. had good reason to be afraid of David Rucki. When the girls became more comfortable with the Dahlens, they shared their fears, and painful memories. According to the motion, the girls told the Dahlens that Rucki made threats, displayed sexually inappropriate behavior, and police were called a number of times after he violated restraining orders.

frisked

According to the Dahlens, the girls reported that they were scared of Rucki and he “had a habit of peeking in outside windows..” The Dahlens said talking about their home life, and the thought of returning to the care of their father (Rucki) made S.R. and G.R. so upset that they would shake and become physically sick “with fear and panic“.

It should be noted that S.R. exhibited the same emotional and physical symptoms as to what the Dahlens observed when she was questioned by social workers and police after she had been recovered; when making statements regarding her home life prior to the divorce, abuse and the events leading up to when she ran away. The difference is that the Dahlens correctly identified S.R.’s reaction as a traumatic response, but when S.R. was put back under the control of Dakota County the abuse cover up continued and S.R. was labelled “fragile” and in need of de-programming.

The motion states that Dahlens permitted S.R. and G.R. to stay at their Ranch because they reasonably believed that the girls were at risk for physical, sexual or emotional harm if they returned.

S.R. and her sister G.R. went into hiding, living with the Dahlens for 2 1/2 years. In an interview with ABC 20/20, Gina Dahlen says the teen girls “made a new life” for themselves on the Ranch, and they were free to leave anytime they wanted but chose to stay. While staying on the Ranch, S.R. and G.R. were home schooled. The girls did chores on the Ranch, and helped with the website – but never used the internet to contact their father or make an effort to return to Lakeville, where they lived. Dahlen says there was no effort to conceal the girls, they used their real names and went into town, socializing with others.

This is also confirmed in social worker notes, taken from an interview conducted after the S.R. and G.R. were discovered living on the Ranch in November 2015, (Social Service Records – Rucki ) “The girls appeared well cared for and like it at the (redacted).”

The social worker reports that S.R. told her,”It was so great up there.” And,”They were given hugs and love. She loves Doug and Gina and says Gina was like a mom to her.

S.R. also told the social worker about the abusive, dysfunctional home environment created by her father, David Rucki, and warned that she would run if placed back into his custody.

G.R. says this about the Dahlens,”She feels Doug and Gina gave up their lives for them. She feels at peace there, they talked about God and read the Bible. They taught her to forgive.

When asked about her father, G.R. told the social worker, “She still feels fear of dad… She does not want to live with him and she feels he still has control over her. She does not feel mom played role in her thoughts or feelings about her dad.” G.R. also stated that she will run if made to return to dad.

TRANSITIONING FAMILIES INVOLVED IN WITNESS TAMPERING?

(Note: Inquiry by Justice blog.. these comments are NOT part of the Dahlen’s motion)

It is unknown if S.R. or G.R. have attempted to run away again but it is known that the sisters were put through intensive de-programming (aka mind control) and reunification therapy at Transitioning Families, a  ranch  situated in a remote location in California. It could be argued that David Rucki’s efforts to put S.R. and G.R. in the program at Transitioning Families is a form of witness tampering.

Transitioning Families was chosen because if the girls did attempt to run away they would have no place to go. Court records state that S.R. and G.R. were both willing to attend therapy in Minnesota, and promised not to run if placed in a foster home. There was no need to send the sisters to California because they could undergo therapy in Minnesota, where they live, and where they would receive ongoing treatment (if needed). There would be no risk of running if the girls were placed in a foster home, and allowed to transition back into their lives at their own pace and comfort level.  But that didn’t happen.

Dr. Rebecca Bailey, Transitioning Families

Dr. Rebecca Bailey, Transitioning Families

Therapist Dr. Rebecca Bailey, of Transitioning Families, facilitated reunification between David Rucki and the girls. At the time of reunification, Rucki was on probation after being convicted of a violent road rage incident. Yet Bailey showed no concern for the safety of the girls, despite Rucki’s lengthy criminal record, that included being referred to anger management and psychological testing as part of probation. In an interview with a local paper, Rucki says Dr. Bailey determined that he does not pose a danger to anyone after an incident where he was kicked in the privates by a pony, and did not show signs of violence. However, that incident does not qualify as a valid psychological assessment, or involve the use of acceptable medical practices. Evidence suggests that Dr. Bailey ignored and/or dismissed abuse allegations raised by the Rucki children, as well as evidence supporting that abuse did occur. Dr. Bailey also failed to consider Rucki’s history or do a risk assessment when forcing the S.R. and G.R. (and their siblings) into reunification. The end result of the Transitioning Families program was that adults who are skilled in psychology used isolation and programming tactics to get two vulnerable, frightened teenage girls to recant abuse allegations. From the motion filed by the Dahlens (p. 5) “Intimidate can simply mean to make timidIn the Eighth Circuit, exhortations to remain loyal to one’s people or family is sufficient to support a conviction for witness tampering...”

The way testimony was taken from S.R. during the criminal trial of her mother could also be considered witness tampering. During her criminal trial, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki attempted to subpoena S.R. (who had turned 18) and G.R. to appear and testify. Grazzini-Rucki’s efforts were challenged by both David Rucki and his attorney, Lisa Elliott, and by Prosecutor Kathryn Keena. Their arguments were supported by Dr. Bailey, who wrote a letter to the Court, stating she did not feel the girls were capable of testifying and recommended that if S.R.. were to testify it should be by video only. Dr. Bailey’s letter was submitted to Judge Karen Asphaug for review. Grazzini-Rucki and her attorney were not given a copy, nor allowed to read it. Judge Asphaug agreed with the recommendation, G.R. was not allowed to testify and S.R. could testify by video only.

S.R. testified by video conferencing under extremely unusual circumstances. S.R. was out of view of the jury and present with her in the room was father, David Rucki, paternal aunt Tammy Jo Love (her fear of Love caused S.R. to run away), and both paternal grandparents and an armed bailiff. The defense attorney was limited in the questions he could ask and evidence of abuse was suppressed.

According to the motion (p. 5),”Witness tampering can be overt or subtle and includes emotional manipulation…The Minnesota Supreme Court has recognized that even ‘general or specific threats of reprisal’ would constitute witness intimidation…The Court has also acknowledged that  the mere presence of spectators in the courtroom can result in witness intimidation.

BASIS FOR THE WITNESS TAMPERING MOTION

Doug and Gina Dahlen raise a compelling, and legally sound, argument that witness tampering involving S.R. did occur.

From the time S.R. and G.R. stayed at the Ranch until their tearful good-bye, the girls have consistently told the same story about the abuse they have endured at the hands of their father, and the failure of the family court to protect them, is the reason why they ran away, to seek safety. Upon return to Rucki’s care, S.R. told law enforcement that she was  pressured and guilted to recant by her father and Tammy Love. S.R. also stated that court paperwork was “all over the house“, that the issue was constantly raised, and she could not get away from it.  When S.R. did give a statement to police, it was Rucki who drove her to the police station.

Journalist Michael Volpe has extensively researched the Grazzini-Rucki case, and has uncovered another aspect of possible witness tampering involving the same incident: David Rucki claims indigence, hires two private lawyers This article offers additional insight on the questionable interview with S.R. and police, conducted on June 30, 2016. During the interview, S.R. reveals that she had been reading about her family’s involvement with the court system on the Carver County Corruption blog. S.R. said she discovered the site after going to the library, logging onto a computer, and doing an internet search on her name.

At the time of the interview the Carver County Corruption blog had been permanently shut down. Another blogger writing about the Grazzini-Rucki case had removed articles she had written from her blog, and stopped covering the case altogether. These events happened in response to a June 7, 2016 letter written to the blog owners from a law firm employed by David Rucki. The letter implied the bloggers could face “various civil claims” against them and “litigation seeking substantial damages“. As a result, the blog articles were taken down, and S.R. was no longer able to freely access information offering another perspective on the case. It should also be noted that the Carver County Corruption blog gave S.R. a voice because it posted letters and comments she provided to the courts. In a broader perspective, shutting down the blogs has also limited the public’s access to information and documentation regarding the Grazzini-Rucki case; and attempted to make one viewpoint – that of David Rucki – the dominant source of information.

LAKEVILLE POLICE IMPLICATED IN WITNESS TAMPERING

The Dahlen motion also implicates Lakeville police in witness tampering, stating that (p. 8), “Law enforcement investigators in this case apparently avoided asking SVR questions which would develop responses favoring the affirmative defense. Anytime the possibility arose that David Rucki would be portrayed in a negative light, Detective Coughlin backed off.

During the June 30th interview, S.R. told Det. Coughlin that she was brought to the interview against her free will, and pressured and guilted into recanting abuse allegations by Rucki and Love. The pressure was so intense that S.R. began to cry.

The motion states that Det. Coughlin never asked S.R. to elaborate when speaking about issues related to abuse. And that S.R.’s statement to police shows change from the story she has consistently told prior to being recovered. S.R.’s testimony takes yet another turn in court, where claims to not have seen or remembered abuse, and stated that she was not in her right mind when speaking to police.

Perhaps the impact of reunification therapy at Transitioning Families has taken its toll? Perhaps Rucki and Love have finally crushed her spirit? What has not changed is that S.R. remains tearful, emotional and her body language indicates trauma – she shakes or curls up into a ball when questioned. And that is the tragedy of the Grazzini-Rucki case, that the court system has completely failed to protect the Rucki children from the abuse they endured and witnessed, and instead protected the abuser, to the detriment of the children.

The Dahlen motion has not only raised concerns about witness tampering but at its core, it is a statement that raises serious concerns that S.R. (and the other Rucki children) is being emotionally and psychologically abused and continue to be at risk in the care of David Rucki.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fighting B.A.C.K. – Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Hosts Radio Show with Guest Kristy Newberry Brooks

SANDRA GRAZZINI-RUCKI TO HOST RADIO SHOW WITH GUEST KRISTY NEWBERRY BROOKS

LISTEN ON BLOGTALK: Fighting B.A.C.K. with Host Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Episode 1

DATE: February 2, 2017 

TIME: 9 pm EST

Call in to speak with the host: (516) 387-1481

DESCRIPTION: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is Fighting B.A.C.K. with Guest Kristy Newberry Brooks. Family court failures, child abuse, and the great risks a mother will take to protect her child after the system fails will be discussed from two courageous women who have experienced the corruption first-hand.

Kristy Newberry Brooks, of Union County, North Carolina,went into hiding in December 2015 after the family court system, CPS, police have all failed to protect her daughter from physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The alleged perpetrator, her ex, is accused of abusing multiple victims. Brooks says she was in fear for her daughter’s safety after her ex was awarded custody. Brooks says that when the system failed, she had no choice but to go into hiding in an effort to protect her daughter.

Kristy Newberry Brooks (Charlotte Observer)

Kristy Newberry Brooks (Charlotte Observer)

Another aspect to this tragic case is that Brooks was unable to afford legal representation, and has been fighting pro se against incredible odds. “I’ve taken every legal avenue to protect my daughter and nobody will help,” Brooks said, “I have contacted everybody, anybody; written letters, emails. Nobody has done anything.”

Brooks has been involved in a 4-year long custody battle, and says the case should have gone to criminal court. Instead evidence of abuse was dismissed by those charged with protecting her daughter. The infamous DSS Worker Wanda Sue Larson was supervising the Brooks case. Larson was later charged with child abuse in 2014 after a foster child was found tied to her porch with a dead chicken tied around his neck as a form of punishment. Larson, and her live-in boyfriend pleaded guilty to several child abuse charges and were sentenced to 17 months and at least six years in jail, respectively. But Larson was granted time served and released from prison nine days after she pleaded guilty in March 2015. The foster child was placed back into the care of his biological mother. He is now suing Larson. Wanda Larson Sued By Former Foster Son Over Horrific Abuse

Kristy has posted some evidence supporting her claims online, including this video:

 

Brooks surrendered to U.S. Marshalls on January 30th; her daughter was with her and since has been given to the care of her father. Brooks has been charged with child abduction and contempt of court. Union County Senator Fern Schubert put up money for her bond because he believes so strongly in her innocence, that her actions were taken to protect her child.

Tune in to hear the remarkable story of Kristy Newberry Brooks, and to hear more from Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, a woman fighting to survive a system bent on destroying her:  Fighting B.A.C.K. with Host Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Episode 1

 

Also visit:

Future of Our Children Radio on facebook: Future of Children Radio on Facebook

Sandra “Sam” Grazzini-Rucki facebook support page: Sandra “Sam” Grazzini-Rucki facebook page

 

 

Police Report, HRO: David Rucki is Dangerous, Not Safe Around Children

inflamedrucki

In 2011, Judge David L. Knutson ordered the five Rucki children into reunification therapy and supervised visits with father, David Rucki, while two separate harassment orders were in place against him (one harassment order filed by Sandra, the other filed by a neighbor).

The danger Rucki poses to children is noted in a police report filed against Rucki prior to obtaining the HRO which states,”he and his wife run a daycare at their home and are very concerned for the children they care for (due to Rucki’s threats and aggressive behavior).

Along with the HRO, Rucki has a long history of violent behavior that manifests in both his criminal record, and in the abuse allegations raised by ex-wife Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and children. druckipolicereports (See page 11-21 for information related to this article) Court documents also indicate that Rucki was ordered in anger management classes on 3 separate occasions, and during the divorce was ordered into domestic abuse counseling.

Despite overwhelming evidence, Judge David L. Knutson refused to acknowledge the abuse, and has put the lives of the Rucki children at risk by first by court-ordering the “de-programming” the children to recant abuse allegations and then by giving sole custody to Rucki – after proven to be dangerous, emotionally unstable, and not safe around children.

NOTE: This article contains some of the defense evidence suppressed by Judge Karen Asphaug during the rigged trial of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.

screaming

The harassment order was filed by a neighbor R.M. (issued on September 15, 2009) and barred Rucki from having any contact with his wife R.R.M., their two children and even the children enrolled in the daycare they operated. HRO Filed Against Rucki 2009

According to the HRO David Rucki terrorized the family in the following ways:

Made Threats:He said he would unleash holy hell if we ever turned him in again”. “He also did a threat later in the street. He’s mad we called animal control over his dogs.”

Exhibited Frightening Behavior: Loud, Cursing, Coming in Close proximity to their house and mailbox.

Called the Victim(s) Abusive Names: Called my wife a “bitch” and my son a “son of a bitch” and called us “assholes”. Cursing at us while daycare kids present.

While the HRO was in place, Rucki violated the order numerous times. The neighbors were so frightened that they placed security cameras around their home.

The HRO remained in place for 2 years – the reason the neighbors did not renew the HRO was because Sandra had a protective order in place that prohibited David from coming near the cul-de-sac, where the neighbors also lived, so they felt that restraining order would also protect their family. This proved to be false – Rucki has stalked Sandra, and violated protective orders she filed against him. Sandra’s protective order was later dismissed by Judge David L. Knutson.

Judge David L Knutson

Judge David L Knutson

*** IMPORTANT UPDATE ***

Journalist Michael Volpe, covering the Grazzini-Rucki case, just released a police report filed by R.M on September 8, 2009 . The police report documents the terrifying incident that led up to the HRO: David Rucki thinks “asshole” is an appropriate term for a three year old.

The police report demonstrates abusive behavior, and an abusive mentality through Rucki’s own words and actions. A pattern also emerges from the police report that corroborates abuse allegations raised by Sandra.

Domestic violence is defined by a pattern of abusive behavior that is used to gain power and control over another person through threat, force, violence or intimidation. Domestic Violence – US DOJ

What is particularly dangerous about Rucki is that he attempts to exert power and control over anyone close to him -beyond his family. Rucki literally prowls the neighborhood, and by extension Lakeville, as his own territory much like an alpha wolf.

davidraging2

A Few Examples of David Rucki’s Pattern of Abuse:

The police report describes Rucki threatening and swearing at the neighbor’s children and also swearing at the children in the daycare.

Rucki threatened and swore at the neighbor’s wife, R.R.M.; including incidents where children were present. Rucki is so brazen that he referred to R.R.M. as a “bitch” while police were present!

The threats and profanity are the same as what Rucki has said to Sandra, and his own children. The viciousness of Rucki’s words were captured in a series of voice mail messages left for his teenage son (Comments taken from picture above. Also read transcripts recorded voice mail messages)

Rucki refers to R.R.M. as a “crazy lady“. Rucki also accuses ex-wife Sandra as “crazy”. Sandra has never been diagnosed with mental illness. Rucki continues to avoid questions about his own mental health, and the results of his psych evals.

Rucki admits in the police report that he called Child Protective Services on the neighborsdue to safety concerns for the children“. Reading the police report it is obvious the only safety concern that exists is David Rucki. It is clear Rucki made a false report to CPS because he was angry at the neighbors, and was carrying out on threats he made against them.

Rucki made false reports against Sandra to the family court professionals and during the criminal trial, claiming she is a danger to the children. There have never been any findings of abuse against Sandra. Just the opposite – when court proceedings began, the Rucki children  expressed they shared a loving relationship with their mother and wanted to live with her. It is only through forcible separation, and under the threat of de-programming that has Sandra become estranged from her children.The allegations Rucki raised against Sandra are not motivated by genuine concern but rather, are a form of abuse.

Another example – while the police officer was interviewing R.M. (quote),”he informed me that suspect (Rucki) drove by as we were speaking and put up the middle finger of his left hand at him…” Rucki later admits to police that he did make a gesture but says, “I only waved at them, they can see it however they want.

A similar gesture made by Rucki with his middle finger was captured in a still photo taken on July 27, 2013, in a stalking incident: What’s Fair is Fair

Finally, when the police interview Rucki he is angry and refusing to cooperate. The officer informs Rucki that they will have to charge him with disorderly conduct, Rucki replies, “Go ahead it’s their word against mine and you can’t prove anything.” Rucki approached police two additional times stating “that we couldn’t take their word over his“. Rucki attempts to intimidate police to get them to drop charges against him.

In another section, Rucki basically says the laws do not apply to him. He attempts to intimidate another police officer into dropping a complaint against him.

This is similar behavior as what was reported by S.R. (one of the teens who ran away due to Rucki’s abuse) – that she was pressured and guilted into recanting abuse allegations by Rucki: Pressured, Threatened S. Rucki Bravely Speaks Out Against “Horrendous” Family Court

You can’t prove anything” could also explain what has happened to Sandra throughout all of the legal proceedings from 2011 to the present – Dakota County, has taken the word of David Rucki as fact and completely violated the law, and dismissed significant evidence and documentation in doing so.

Why does Dakota County protect David Rucki?

 

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For More Information:

(2011) Judge Knutson Orders Reunification Therapy with David Rucki and Children, while HRO in place

Michael Volpe’s articles on the #grazzinirucki case can be found Communities Digital News: Grazzini-Rucki Articles on CDN

 

 

Birthday Blow Up: David Rucki Chased Terrified Teens Down Street

policecake

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

To better understand the devastating effects of the abuse David Rucki inflicted on his children, this article will share a police report from June 24, 2011 from a first person perspective. The “perspective” is based on the actual police report as well as other publicly available documents that disclose abuse, and record allegations of abuse made by the Rucki children in their own words.

A police report from June 24, 2011 details an incident where David Rucki yelled at, and chased his teenage daughter S.R. and her friends down the street on her birthday. (see page 60) druckipolicereports

See here more evidence suppressed by Judge Karen Asphaug at the criminal trial of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki:

*Police reports made against David Rucki for violating protective order, and other criminal behavior

*Surveillance photos documenting David Rucki stalking Sandra and children

*Suppressed CPS reports, social service records documenting abuse https://www.scribd.com/doc/316692570/SamiRucki

*Judge Asphaug also suppressed was witness testimony from an individual present at this incident, and who had observed other abuse Rucki inflicted on his family

asphaug-1

75% of defense evidence was withheld during the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial. The jury was never allowed to consider evidence raised by the Defense, supporting the affirmative defense: 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…. https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=609.26

Without evidence to support a “reasonable belief”, and given instructions from Judge Asphaug that were both misleading, and manipulative, the jury found Sandra Grazzini-Rucki guilty on 6 counts of deprivation of parental rights. If the jury knew of this incident, and made aware of other evidence, would the outcome have been different? And would the outcome had been different had the jury know that Judge Asphaug presided over a previous domestic violence complaint against Rucki, and dismissed it?

Lakeville, Dakota County, Minnesota (6/24/2011):

Happy Birthday! S.R. walked down the cul-de-sac at Ireland Way with a group of giggling, excited teenage girls looking forward to a slumber party, and a night of fun. The house was decorated with banners and balloons, gifts were beautifully wrapped for her special day. The deep rumble of a motor followed by a harsh voice yelling her name tore through the warm summer day like a thunderbolt. She turned her head to see her father pulling up alongside the girls, yelling and swearing at her.

Her heartbeat hammered in her chest so fast she feared it would take off, seeking escape from her father’s anger. Since the divorce, things were so much calmer at home, she actually enjoyed being there… without having to deal with his rage, his flying fists, the ugly words he screamed at them…he hurt her mother and made her cry. But he didn’t stay away. After the divorce, in May, he tore through the house, and refused to leave when asked. He was yelling and screaming, threatening, ripping pictures off the wall. He drove up and down the street all hours of the day at night. He watched the house. He left angry voice mail messages. Just a few days ago, he was at the house again, stealing mail from the mailbox.

Ignoring him didn’t help. She told her father that she did not want to see him. He would not listen. You couldn’t pretend that everything was fine when it felt like your heart was breaking into a million pieces. When you were trying to hide the secret that made you so different from your friends. When you couldn’t hold up the fake smile anymore because the tears kept falling. Ignoring him just made him madder – and now he was here, on her birthday, without a present or a card, instead yelling – swearing – scaring her friends – ruining everything.

Giggles gave way to shrill, girlish screams. The word “run!” was a collective cry, one voice could not be distinguished from another. Run but where? The cul-de-sac had one way in and one way out. Only one way.

She remembered dressing up for her party, pulling her hair back in a pony, wondering if Mom would let her wear make up… now her feet slapped against the pavement, mud staining her sneakers. Her hair tore loose, and tangled at her shoulders. The girls grabbed at each other as they ran, tumbling into the nearest house. Her pretty outfit was ruined. Her friends were scared. And everyone was looking at her like they knew, all along, the ugly secret she tried to keep. As if windows could shut in the the threats, the yelling, the crashing sounds coming from the “Scream House” night after night. Her friends knew, and they were terrified. The door rattled as her father came up to the house, slamming the screen door open and pounding his fists on the door. He shook the door handle, trying to pry it open. Someone called the police. Someone hid. Someone called Mom. She ran into the pantry, sobbing. It was all happening so fast.

screaming

She wanted Mom to hug her and tell her everything would be okay. But she knew that wasn’t true. Lakeville Police had arrived, they looked over the court order that was supposed to protect them from her father… and said it did not cover her, a child. The judge had crossed the names of the children out on the OFP application. Mom said the order for protection meant that Dad could not be so close to the house, he was in violation. She wanted to press charges but the police officer told her to go back to court, he couldn’t do anything. No charges would be filed. And the officer certainly could not fix her birthday party – and now her friend’s parents now said they didn’t feel it was a good idea to have a slumber party. The parents didn’t feel safe that their children were at her house, the “Scream House”. Mom begged until they agreed to come over for cake. All she saw when the candles were lit was the flashing blue and red of police lights. By then the cake had melted, the pink frosting felt too sticky and choked in her throat.

One of the victims involved in this incident declined to file a police report, stating they are afraid David Rucki will retaliate against them.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s application for an Order for Protection for her 5 minor children was denied on June 30, 2011. David Rucki continued to violate the OFP, and continued to harass, intimidate and stalk his family.

frisked

David Rucki violated the Order for Protection granted to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on June 22, 2011 on two separate  instances, and plead guilty to one incident on September 19, 2011.

Family court Judge David L. Knutson awarded David Rucki sole custody of the 5 children despite overwhelming evidence of his abusive, and violent behavior. The children’s fear of Rucki is directly related to his behavior towards them. When awarded custody, Rucki was probation for a charge that resulted after he violated an OFP. Judge Knutson has actively worked to cover up the abuse allegations in the Grazzini-Rucki case, and has even dismissed criminal charges against Rucki.

Sandra continued to petition the Court for help, and raised abuse allegations in the custody trial – at every level, those who had the power to protect the Rucki children failed, and enabled the abuse to continue.

Judge David L Knutson

Judge David L Knutson

In The Best Interest? Dr. Carlos Rivera Interview Yahya McClain, Grazzini-Rucki Case

In the Best Interest of the Children” with Dr. Carlos Rivera featuring Yahya McClain, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Journalist Michael Volpe

Date: December 22, 2016

Subject Yahya McClain discusses his upcoming documentary “Casualties of W.A.R.” about how the family court system tears families apart for financial gain. The documentary examines real-life experiences of families impacted by parental alienation.

McClain says that despite the title, his documentary is not gender biased. McClain used his own experiences, as a father alienated from his child, as a springboard to create this film. McClain says “Casualties of W.A.R.” depicts the different perspectives of families who are being devastated by the family court system.

Public Domain: http://bknpk.com

Public Domain: http://bknpk.com

The Sandra Grazzini-Rucki story involves a mother who  encountered a nightmare in a family court that resulted in being forcibly removed from her home, and her children unjustly taken. As a result of proceedings, Sandra was court ordered into a “lifetime of servitude”. She lost everything important to her, and lost her freedom as well.

The Grazzini-Rucki case reached a crisis on April 19, 2013; when Sandra’s two teen daughters ran away after being placed in the custody of a relative whom they feared. The daughters were missing for two and a half years and since being found their story has received international attention.

With seeming he said/she said accusations and confusing terms like “parental alienation”, the truth may seem difficult to reach. Still, with hundreds of stories, the media has yet to find it. Now, the whole unbelievable story is told; it’s a story of domestic violence, court cover-up and a compliant media covering up the whole sordid tale. A lawyer is forced to represent her client while “under arrest”, a mother of five with no criminal record is jailed with a convicted murderer, and years of violence and criminal activity by a dangerous man is ignored.

 

Listen In:

IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN with Yahya McClain, Michael Volpe, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN – WLINY Internet Radio (Go to the 12/22 episode and click the play arrow)

Commentary: “Children and domestic violence victims die in this country every week by order of the family law courts…”

Public Domain: http://www.pd4pic.com

Public Domain: http://www.pd4pic.com

After reading this blog, Malinda left the following comment to share her thoughts regarding ABC 20/20’s coverage of the Grazzini-Rucki case, and how they have, in her opinion, “aided and abetted an abuser“.

Malinda also offers insight into how the family court system fails to protect abuse victims and their children from harm, and instead misuses its power and authority to wrongfully take custody and place the children into the care of identified abusers; at great risk to the lives of the children involved.

Malinda warns that family court failures, and the attitudes of professionals who do not protect children from abuse, will cause devastation of families, significantly hurt children and may even contribute to murder. To offer an example, Malinda discusses the horrific murders committed by Nicholas Holzer, a dangerous abuser who was given custody by a family court and went on to murder his two children, parents as well as the family pet.

Malinda says in response to Casualities of W.A.R. Radio – “Beauty and the Basketball Player” Yahya McClain Interviews Former NBA Star Joe Smith, and Minnesota Mom Sandra Grazzini-Rucki :

All parties to the case of Sandra Grazzini Rucki treated Sandra exactly the same as Juana Holzer a divorcing mother of two young boys.

Sandra and her children were clearly victims of domestic violence. David Rucki is a named identified abuser by his wife, children, restraining orders filed by neighbors and the police…all 20/20 needed to do was scratch the surface to find the truth of what David Rucki did, what he is and what he has gotten away with.

20/20 is FAKE NEW ORGANIZATION and has aided and abetted an abuser!

Read how children and domestic violence victims die in this country every week by order of the family law courts…

CASE IN POINT Juana Holzer warned Judge Thomas Anderle of Santa Barbara, CA that her ex husband Nicolas Holzer was violent with her and her boys. She said, Nicholas Holzer was a batterer. Juana stated that Nicolas Holzer had raped her and molested their young sons Sebastian and Vincent. Juana feared for the safety of her boys in the care of their father…BUT as a result, Juana lost custody of her boys to their abusive father.

Nicholas Holzer (Source: Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office)

Nicolas Holzer (Source: Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office)

This frightened mother reached out with the same disclosures to CASA, Child Abuse Advocates in Santa Barbara, Catholic Charities, and to a Therapy Center also in the Santa Barbara area…with no results or support. A court appointed evaluator, Dr. Gary Rick examined/investigated the parents. Dr. Rick did not heed Juana’s warnings or give any weight to her disclosures regarding her violent ex husband and the fear the boys expressed to their mother as they were forced by the court to be alone with their father.

In his findings and report to Judge Anderle, Dr. Rick named Nicolas Holzer as the better parent(!)..and Juana as a paternal “alienator.” Bingo! As thousands of safe, fit, loving parents…Juana was placed on supervised visitation, she was ordered under guard when she visited her sons because of her expressed concerns of abuse against her and her children. Juana could not afford to pay for monitored visitation, so she was cut off from her children. The court and it’s appointees interfered with and destroyed her relationship with with her sons!

In August of 2014 Nicolas Holzer, Dr. Rick’s favored parent… murdered his own parents and Juana’s sons. The sons, she could not protect. Nicholas Holzer knifed his parents and his sons to death in their beds while they slept… not even the family dog could survive Nicolas Holzer. He butchered the beloved family pet, an Australian Shepard.

All parties to the case were against the mother.. from the very beginning, the attitudes were similar to that of Ms. Elliot, Mr. Rucki’s attorney and 20/20.

 

NOTE: Juana Holzer is now suing ex-husband Nicholas Holzer, and the family trust, for wrongful death for the brutal murder of her two children.

 

For More Information on the Holzer Case:

Ex-Wife Sues Nicolas Holzer in Children’s Murders (The Independent)

Man indicted in fatal stabbing of parents, two sons and pet dog (Los Angeles Times)

Nicholas Holzer Murders (The Independent)

 

E-mail complaints, thoughts and feedback about “Footprints in the Snow” to ABC 20/20 at:

elizabeth.a.vargas@abc.com  and  sean.dooley@abc.com

 

Read More from Michael Volpe’s investigation into the Grazzini-Rucki case: Did 20/20 Manipulate the Rucki Story to Hide Abuse? (CDN, Michael Volpe)

Footprints in the Snow or Wild Goose Chase? Did ABC 20/20 Edit Audio Recordings to Suppress Evidence of Abuse in the Grazzini-Rucki Case? Pt. 1

Rucki Child Speaks Out – Social Media Post Offers Glimpse From Months Leading Up to Disappearance of Sisters

May 13, 2013 - Diary posted by Rucki child online

May 13, 2013 – Diary posted by Rucki child online

Dakota County, Minn: A shocking piece of evidence suppressed by Judge Karen Asphaug during the criminal trial of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is being publicly posted – see for yourself what the jury was not allowed to consider.

Judge Karen Asphaug suppressed 75% of defense evidence in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial and refused to allow several witnesses to testify, including a witness to David Rucki’s violent behavior and another witness who is an expert on domestic violence. Grazzini-Rucki raised the affirmative defense, meaning her involvement in the disappearance of her two teenage daughters resulted not from criminal intent but because she had a reasonable belief that the present environment posed imminent harm to her children. Grazzini-Rucki’s defense depended on showing the reasons why she feared for the safety of her children – which was contained in the exhibits jurors were not allowed to see.

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

Under these unjust circumstances, Grazzini-Rucki was convicted on 6 counts of felony deprivation of parental rights after the defense was limited in what it could present to the jury, and otherwise constrained. Grazzini-Rucki has appealed the conviction. 

There will be no appeal for the five Rucki children – who have been sentenced to live with their abusive father, David Rucki (who was on probation for a violation of a protective order when granted custody). The Rucki children have raised allegations of abuse, and asked to live with their mother only to be ignored by the family court, Guardian ad Litem and professionals, charged with protecting them. The evidence is overwhelming that Dakota County has conspired to take custody from a fit, loving parent and place these children in an abusive, dysfunctional environment.

A social media post, of what appears to be a diary, written by one of the Rucki children, and posted on May 13, 2013, offers a glimpse into the thoughts and feelings of a child living in an unimaginable nightmare.

Screenshot Rucki Child Diary

Screenshot Rucki Child Diary

This child attempted to run away, along with 4 siblings after Judge David L. Knutson forced Grazzini-Rucki out of her home on September 7, 2012, and temporarily transferred custody to paternal aunt, Tammy Jo Love (who never filed a motion for custody). Incredibly, all 4 children attempted to run away upon hearing the news – and the older children were not in the same location as the younger ones, meaning there was no planning, but rather a reaction based on fear alone. 

4bebc-brodkorb_rucki_love_elliot_donehower_19av-fa-11-1273_012616

The child was later found wandering down a busy street, more than 2 miles away from home, crying for mother. The child told police that Love had been abusive, and that if returned to her care, would run away again. Though a mandated reporter, the police never filed a report with CPS. Due to safety concerns, temporary custody of the Rucki children was instead transferred to a maternal aunt.

Seven months later, Judge Knutson again attempted to transfer the Rucki children into Love’s care. The only reason the two younger Rucki children did not succeed in running away was because they were detained at school, and physically prevented. The older two sisters, S.R. and G.R. did succeed in running away, and remained in hiding for 2 years; although the sisters had every opportunity to go home they chose not to, believing they would not be safe in the care of Love, or their father, David Rucki.

The  author of this social media post describes their feelings in the months before – and after – older sisters S.R. and G.R. ran away on April 19, 2013. The diary was written on what appears to be a dry erase board and includes one word statements with a date to indicate when they were written. Many of the statements include what you would expect from a pre-teen, but there are also troubling statements that show signs of fear, and indicate a problem. The words: “Scared”, “Killed” “Miserable”, “Creeped” and “Escaping” are included along with drawings, that include faces with wide eyes and gaping mouths.

The importance of this diary is that it is the only publicly available record that offers a first-hand account from one of the Rucki children – in their own words, without being altered or manipulated. Each entry is dated, which provides a picture of the mental and emotional state of this child in the crucial months involving court hearings (the children were present in court at some of the hearings the request of Dr. Gilbertson, and also spoke with judge David L. Knutson) that ultimately lead up to a transfer of custody, and then sisters S.R. and G.R. running away on April 19, 2013 in fear for their lives.

Judge David L Knutson

Judge David L Knutson

In an interview with Yahya McClain (12/28/16), Sandra Grazzini-Rucki said her children wanted to speak to the court, and wanted to be heard, but the court would not allow them to provide input, and instead worked to silence them. In fact, Judge David L. Knutson spoke to the Rucki children in chambers on Feb 26th 2013, and sealed the transcript after the children spoke about abuse; thereby blocking the abuse allegations from being entered into the record. An entry from the former Carver County Corruption blog have preserved what S.R. and G.R. wanted to tell Judge Knutson, Dr. Gilbertson and GAL Julie Friedrich, their personal note along with a cover letter were sent to 150 Representatives and Senators in Minnesota shortly before S.R. and G.R. ran away (below). The highest levels of government in Minnesota have been made aware of the egregious abuses of power and violations of law happening in the Grazzini-Rucki case.. and so far have not responded. How many more families need to be victimized, and how many children more need to be abused before the State of Minnesota will do something to hold out of control judges, and related family court professionals, accountable?

Another way the Rucki children have been silenced, and their testimony altered, is by unethical treatment from court-appointed therapist Dr. James Gilbertson, who conducted“reunification therapy” on the Rucki children. Some of the sessions with Dr. Gilbertson included forcing the Rucki children to attend court hearings where they were forced to listen to painful details of the family’s troubles. Judge Knutson and Dr. Gilbertson used mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, as an example to demonstrate his power over their lives and send an intimidating message to the children. Grazzini-Rucki was the primary caregiver, and shared a close loving relationship with her children. There were times she shielded her children from Rucki’s rage by putting her body in front of his fists. Imagine then, the horror the Rucki children must have felt watching their mother, their protector being humiliated and re-abused in the family court; laws easily broken with just the wave of a gavel.

On February 6, 2013, Dr. Gilbertson wrote a letter to Guardian ad Litem Julie Friedrich (link below) that the court needed to take an “assertive stance” with the children and stated,The presence of the court, a bailiff nearby, my own presence, and then meeting with father, in my opinion, would deal with the fears they experience, either real or imagined.”

And,”I understand this may represent a somewhat unorthodox recommendation, but I do not believe there could be a bridging of the gap between the children and their father, at this point in time, unless all are physically present under the authoritative and safe umbrella of the court.”

These are children we are talking about – frightened, vulnerable children who are being treated by Judge Knutson, and the players in this family court case, like prisoners of war.

rucki-children2

During one of these hearings, the Rucki children sat in a conference room for several hours before being addressed by the court – during that time Dr. Gilbertson witnessed that the children were “anxious” and “apprehensive”. Dr. Gilbertson also noted that the Rucki children wanted – of their own free will – to have a say in what happens to them. In response, Dr. Gilbertson admitted to giving the children “factual knowledge” about the case – i.e. feeding information to influence them. Dr. Gilbertson also noted that he children make requests to see their mother, but not their father.

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

The child who authored this diary entry was subjected to reunification therapy which involved breaking down the child’s will in order to suppress memories of abuse, so with a “blank slate” the child could be programmed to accept a relationship with an identified abuser. This is why reunification therapy is also referred to as “de-programming” – the child is actually being told what to think, believe and feel.

S.R. has made various statements indicating this has happened – stating the therapist and the Guardian ad Litem gave her false information, and specifically made negative comments about her mother in an attempt to influence her. S.R. also says that when she spoke about abuse she was called a liar and told that she needed “de-programming”. Dr. Gilbertson has admitted that “therapy” also included explaining to the Rucki children why they could not see their mother.

Instead of identifying the cause of that fear, Dr. Gilbertson’s treatment involved “exposing them to the object they fear” i.e. father, in order to “desensitize” them.Dr. Gilbertson asked that GAL Julie Friedrich clear her schedule to plan for a 2 hour session to “desensitize” the Rucki children. Dr. Gilbertson is talking about holding 5 frightened children in a room inside the courthouse with a bailiff guarding the door, and using the authority of the court to force these children to recant abuse allegations, and develop a bond with an identified abuser who they are terrified of. Let’s be clear – this is not “therapy”, it is psychological torture. The methods Dr. Gilbertson used on the Rucki children do not meet the standards of trauma based therapy, and certainly no credible psychologist would attempt “therapy” on 5 children all at one time, failing to address or consider the individual needs of each child.

After S.R. and G.R. ran away, reunification therapy continued with the 2 younger children. Reports written AFTER the events of April 19, 2013, indicate the child who authored this post continued in reunification therapy and continued to showed fear of Rucki. The child also would leave the room when Rucki entered and avoided physical contact with him. Similarly,  investigative reports showed similar behaviors present in S.R. and G.R. Witnesses who interacted with the sisters during the time they stayed on the Ranch, recalled they were fearful, avoided physical contact, and spoke about abuse (see Dahlen investigative report below). These types of emotional and behavioral reactions are common with children who have experienced abuse and trauma; yet Dr. Gilbertson completely ignored all evidence and information suggesting abuse had occurred, and worked to intimidate the Rucki children even as they are crying out for help. 

The diary entry you are about to read is the voice of a child who may not even exist anymore – reunification therapy forces a child to suppress who they really are, and become a child the court approves of. There is no success in treatments like these, the relationship that results is not one of love or trust, but instead a relationship based on trauma bonding.

Despite all this child has had to endure, they also show incredible courage in posting a family photo taken with Sandra. A playful image shows laughter, and demonstrates the closeness once shared….

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and children continue to be estranged due to the forcible actions of the court, and due the actions of a dangerous abuser. Photographs and perhaps a few stubborn memories that have resisted “de-programming”, are all they have to hold onto each other.

Diary, Posted 5/13/2013 by Rucki Child Include the Following:

4/2/13 Sick

4/4/13 Headache

4/6/13 Woe (means sorry, grief or misery)

4/8/13 Killed

4/11/13 Scared

4/12/13 Wow

4/21/13 Crappy

4/22/13 612-308-0512

POSTED MONDAY, MAY 13, 2013 AT 8:36 pm

2/2/13 Silly

2/7/13 Drained

2/12/13 Lazy

2(?)/12/13 Creeped written in black next to the word Miserable

2/23/13 Dent (?) Pho next to it is a picture that could be a bowl of noodles. The word Bic and what could be a pen.

2/27/13 Goofy – Next to this picture is the word “Pain” and then a picture of an eye, a hand on a book, an unknown shape and a face with large eyes and a mouth, wide open showing scared

2/28/13 Colored in block letters that read Freake! Next to this in blue, date unknown, is the word Fall

3/2/13 Worried

3/3/13, 3 pm Worried (includes a face)

3/5/13 Stupid

3/8/13 Animal

3/9/13 Creeped includes a face drawn in black with two eyes peering out

3/11/13 Prankster

3/12/13 Gleeful next to a pair of pom-poms and a smiling face

3/13/13 Gleek

3/14/13 Nervous – a face is drawn next to the words with eyebrows, cartoonish black eyes and a face that appears to be smiling

3/16/13 Rainbowed

3/17/13 Green St Patty’s Day

3/19/13 Ignored

3/20/13 Awful

3/21/13 Escaping – Underneath, date unknown, Bored written in black and red

3/21/13 Screwed picture of a screw drawn underneath – Next to it is some words scribbled in orange

3/28/13 Palmed – Underneath, not dated, Silly

4/2/13 Sick

4/4/13 Headache

4/6/13 Woe (means sorry, grief or misery)

4/8/13 Killed

4/11/13 Scared

4/12/13 Wow

4/21/13 Crappy

4/22/13 612-308-0512

4/28/13 Funky

5/4/13 Annoyed – includes a frowning face

(The Justice blog has tried to provide a complete record as possible, these notes are based on what can be visually seen in the diary entry)

 

FROM THE CARVER COUNTY CORRUPTION BLOG:

On September 7, 2012, Judge Knutson said an emergency required him to remove the five children from their mother’s care. He said mother had the condition of Parental Alienation syndrome (PAS). That condition is based on the theory that if a child dislikes a parent, the cause is the other parent.
He appointed a therapist, Dr. James Gilbertson, to “re-program” the children to like their father. The children say their father has abused them and their mother.
At a conference on February 26, 2013, two of the children told the judge the following:
14 year old girl
“I am 14 and in June I will be 15.I am here today to say a few thing to not only you but Ms. Friedrich and Dr. Gilbertson.
“I would first like to say I am appalled by the way this court has treated me and my brothers and sisters.
I have not only been called fat a number of times by Julie Friedrich but have been ask if I was pregnant and been called a down right liar by not only Ms. Friedrich but also Dr. Gilbertson. I’m not only disgusted be the way they talk to me, my brothers and sister, but pissed at the way this court has accuse me of being a liar. I’m 14 and in a couple of months I will be 15. I know the difference between a lie and the truth.
I stand here today to tell you the truth about my father. To begin with, he has not only told my family that he is homicidal, but sat us down at kitchen table and yelled at us saying that he was not only going to kill me but my brothers, sister and mom. Not even a week later I received a horrifying voicemail of 6 gunshots. He has also choked, slapped, and hit and verbally abused my mother repeatedly throughout their. marriage. He also has lost it on us kids more than a number of time physically and verbally. Also he has made sexual comments to me over the year about my boobs look bigger and so forth and over the year many of my friends could not hang out with me because of my father. The day my father officially moved out of the Ireland place home was not only a day of peace and happiness but safety in the household.
“And second I would like to say it was absolutely absurd of you to remove us from our mom’s care. She has been nothing but loving and our rock and you not only removing us from us from her but not letting have contact with her for 6 months, 19 days except for the one 3 hour meeting on January 11. It is down right cruel, ruthless of this court. I ask you to let me live with my mom, let me be happy because all this courtroom has done has cause misery and heartache. Thank you for your time.”
13 year old girl
“Your Honor,
I am 13 years old. I am here to speak my voice because I have never been given the opportunity to do so.
My father has frightened and hurt my family. After the divorce was final, my father kept repeatedly threatening and shocking myself and my bothers and sister and my mother. I have been called a liar and have not been able to say what I believe without a court member discriminating me.
I wish to be with my mother, because my father has brought nothing but pure torture to my family.”
Julie Friedrich is the court appointed guardian ad litem. Sandra Grazzini-Rucki filed a complaint against the Guardian ad Litem, the Minnesota State Guardian ad Litem Board has never formally investigated her complaint or taken any action against either GAL involved – Julie Friedrich, and Laura Miles.
Guardian ad Litem Julie Friedrich

Guardian ad Litem Julie Friedrich

 

For More Information:

Casualities of W.A.R. Radio – “Beauty and the Basketball Player” Yahya McClain Interviews Former NBA Star Joe Smith, and Minnesota Mom Sandra Grazzini-Rucki 

Investigative Report Dahlen/Rucki

Letter from Dr. James Gilbertson to Julie Friedrich about Rucki children

Pressured, Threatened S. Rucki Bravely Speaks Out Against “Horrendous” Family Court

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki convicted of hiding daughters (CDN)