Dakota County Corrupt Courthouse Event: Tour Infamous Court at Center of the Grazzini-Rucki Case

Dakota County Judicial Center, Hastings, Minnesota

..all this courtroom has done has cause misery and heartache…” except of a letter written by one of the Rucki children, April 2013

The public is invited to celebrate Constitution Day at the Dakota County “Open Courthouse” event on September 15… held at the epicenter of corruption in Minnesota: the Dakota County Judicial Center. The free, open-to-the public event, will run from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 2017 Dakota County Open Courthouse Event

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour, and experience firsthand, the infamous courthouse at the center of the Grazzini-Rucki custody trial, and criminal trial where unconstitutional abuses of power by the courts, judges, court officers and law enforcement occurred. Both cases also involve rampant violations of the constitutional rights of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, as well as the 3 co-defendants in the criminal trial.

The public is advised to enter the Dakota County Judicial Center at their own risk – law and justice mean nothing here!

Judge David L. Knutson will make a special appearance at the 12:30 Welcoming Ceremony, held at the Jury Assembly Room, Lower Level.

Wonder if Judge Knutson would be willing to answer questions such as:

**Why did you give custody of five children to a dangerous abuser?

**Why did you ignore the abuse allegations raised by the Rucki children?

**Do you think it is appropriate for a judge to ignore allegations of child sexual abuse?

**Do you think it is okay for a judge to call a child abuse victim a ‘liar’ when they disclose abuse?

**Why did you release David Rucki after several violations of a protective order?

**How is the public supposed to trust the courts when they see you break the law and go to such extreme lengths to give custody to a violent man and deprive a fit, loving mother of custody?

**How do you defend your violations of the Constitutional rights of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki?

**Why did you give such a light sentence to child rapist Dennis Roy?

**Do you support 1st Amendment rights? If so, why are you limiting the free speech of blogger Dede Evavold?

Chances are Judge Knutson, the coward he is, won’t be taking any questions from the public and will continue to hide behind the skirts of judicial immunity.

Judge David L Knutson

The court, judges, prosecutors, police and many layers of corruption within Dakota Count colluded to give sole custody to a dangerous abuser, David Rucki, and worked to cover up their crimes in doing so, to detriment of the five Rucki children. Mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who, fought to keep the children safe from harm is now being punished and criminalized while the real criminals go free.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was a loving, stay-at-home mother of five children, and former Mrs. Lakeville, who has been victimized, deprived of her rights and due process, and forcibly separated from her children due to injustice and corruption in the family court and criminal court of Dakota County. Sandra’s situation is so dire that she is now living in hiding – and her children have been given into the custody of a dangerous abuser with a long history of criminal acts and violence against his own family. druckipolicereports

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

 

Guardian ad Litem Julie Friedrich

 

Paul Reitman

The Rucki children have raised abuse allegations against their father only to be told by Judge David Knutson, Guardian ad Litems, Julie Friedrich and Laura Miles, and court-ordered therapists, Dr. Paul Reitman and Dr James Gilbertson, that they are liars and in need of de-programming. And this has occurred – the Rucki children were forced into “de-programming” using methods similar to what is done to a POW camp in order to get the children to recant abuse allegations, and then forced into complying with the courts demands even as it has proved detrimental to their safety and well-being.

If you heard a child come forward with an allegation of abuse like this, would you honestly walk away and do nothing?? That is exactly what Judge Knutson, and others, have done to the Rucki children.

In April 2013, one of the Rucki children wrote a letter to describe how she witnessed her father, David Rucki, abuse her mother, and stated that he was also violent and threatening to other children – to the extreme that her even friends feared visiting the Rucki home.

The letter (which was not allowed to be submitted as evidence in Sandra’s criminal trial) included this statement from her daughter,” 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…Letters from Rucki Sisters April 2013

Sandra has continued to be the punching bag for her abusive ex-husband, David Rucki, even after she fled the marriage by agreeing to divorce in 2011. – Rucki conspired with “Korrupt Knutson” to batter, and destroy, Sandra by using the legal system in the same way that he once used his fist to beat her into submission.

As a result of family court proceedings, Sandra was court ordered by Judge Knutson into a “lifetime of servitude,” stripped of her children and custodial rights, her home, her employment, and her freedom— she is now homeless and destitute, hunted and harassed by ex-husband, David Rucki, who has promised to “see her dead.”

Tour stops in the Dakota County Judicial Center, important to the Grazzini-Rucki case, include: Self Guided Tours: Dakota County Open Courthouse

The public is invited take self-guided tours of the Dakota County Judicial Center, with stops including courtrooms and other areas of interest, and the chance to hear from a local district court judge or other justice system officials.

Jury Assembly Room/Jury room This room is the notorious site where jury tampering occurred in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal case (July 2016). Jury tampering is a factor that contributed to Sandra being found guilty, by tainting the jury with prejudicial information before the trial began.

During jury selection, nearly all of the 60 members of the jury pool admitted they had heard or read about the Grazzini-Rucki case; meaning the jury had been influenced even before the trial began. In criminal cases that receive a lot of publicity it is common to hold the trial in another jurisdiction – that didn’t happen here because Dakota County waged a vendetta against Sandra, and probably won’t give up punishing her until she is dead.

In another instance of jury tampering, an article from the Star Tribune regarding the Grazzini-Rucki case was found in the jury room. It should be noted that the article was written by a blogger who has a close relationship with David Rucki, and has expressed admiration of Judge David Knutson. The blogger was contracted at the Star Tribune to cover the Grazzini-Rucki case as part of an “experiment” that went massively awry when the paper was used to promote propaganda and false and misleading information about the Grazzini-Rucki case; articles specifically do not mention or include documentation of abuse or Rucki’s lengthy history of violence. So what the jurors saw was a news article written as a hit piece against Sandra, who was vilified, and unable to defend herself against the impressions formed in the jurors minds outside the courtroom.

In another instance of jury tampering, one juror admitted to being at a party with Rucki’s relative, and Judge Asphaug refused to have this person disqualified after they promised to remain neutral.

If that were not bad enough, two bloggers covering the trial approached the jurors and asked them to speak about the case. Due to the severity of the allegations, Judge Karen Asphaug stopped the trial in the middle of proceedings, left the bench and went into the jury room to assess the damage. Inappropriate contact with a juror is grounds for a mistrial; despite this, Judge Asphaug continued with trial, once again making excuses for a jury that could not possibly remain neutral after being pressured and influenced before trial began.

Book and ReleaseSandra Grazzini-Rucki was held in Book and Release several times during the course of her criminal trial. If walls could talk, the walls of the book and release room would drip with anguished tears.

Sandra found herself in the Book and Release room not as a criminal but as mother who fought to protect her children from abuse, risking her own life and freedom to do so.

In her former life, Sandra was a stay at home mom who lavished her time, energy and love on her five children. She worked as a flight attendant and had a spotless 30+ year history of impeccable service, and was loved by crew and guests alike. After surviving an abusive marriage that nearly cost her life,  Sandra looked forward a fresh start…hope for the future was short-lived because ex-husband, David Rucki, would escalate his attacks against her in a new arena: family court, where he is assisted by a powerful and korrupt judge, David L.  Knutson.

The result of 6 years of continued legal abuse, and humiliation in family court, is that Sandra is destitute and homeless. She has survived stalking and death threats from Rucki (and people on his behalf) but the nature of the court orders have left her barely surviving. By order of Judge Knutson, her home, all her belongings, and even pictures of her children have been taken. David Rucki has been awarded 100% of the marital property including 4 homes and all the contents within, 9 classic cards and has dumped huge amounts of personal debt onto Sandra. Rucki is also granted nearly $1,000 a month in child support, and motioning the court for Sandra to pay thousands of dollars for legal fees, even though Sandra has not worked for almost two years and is unable to meet her own basic needs. With 6 felonies on her record, it is doubtful that Sandra will be able to return to work as a flight attendant – or be hired anywhere else. The State of Minnesota once extended assistance to Sandra but since has terminated benefits. Now she has no means to pay for food or basic necessities that most take for granted. Rucki lives like a king, devising new ways to torment poor Sandra.

Sandra was forced to witness continued abuse inflicted on her children then was jailed for trying to protect them when they were forced to go on the run to protect their own lives. She was confined in the Book and Release Room, hands in cuffs, while the real criminals – David Rucki and Judge Knutson – go free.

Courtroom 1F: Mock Jury Selection Demonstrations – Courtroom 1F is where Judge David L. Knutson presided over the Grazzini-Rucki custody trial (September 11-12, 2013).

It is here that Sandra lost custody of her five, precious children and would forever be banned from having any contact with them. Dangerous abuser David Rucki is awarded sole custody, despite for being on probation for violating a protective order against Sandra. At the time of the custody order, two of the Rucki children are missing – they ran away in fear for their lives due to their father’s abuse and Judge Knutson’s failure to protect them.

Courtroom 1F is also where lawyer Michelle MacDonald was forced to represent Sandra Grazzini-Rucki while handcuffed and strapped to a wheelchair and without her files and notes, pen/paper, glasses, shoes, and even without her client – and without ever being charged or booked. (Sandra, and several court witnesses, left the courtroom that day after Judge Knutson told them that trial was over and that MacDonald was being arrested.) Judge Knutson took these outrageous actions as retaliation against MacDonald because she had filed a federal lawsuit against him, on behalf of Sandra, and asked that he recuse himself from the trial. Lawsuit: Female Attorney Strapped to Wheelchair in Court

Judge Knutson continues to retaliate against Michelle MacDonald and has actually filed a complaint against her law license, stating she failed to properly represent Sandra in the custody trial – after he alone made it impossible for Sandra to obtain a fair trial.

Judge Knutson avoids any responsibility for his unethical, and illegal actions, by hiding behind judicial immunity like a coward. Judge Knutson now sits on the Board on Judicial Standards, which oversees complaints against judges. Judge Knutson’s role on the Board has greatly contributed to the public trust in the judiciary eroding to an all time law… the people of Minnesota do not respect judges anymore – they fear them.

While the Dakota County Judicial Center celebrates Constitution Day, the public is unaware that they are celebrating at the very alter, the judge’s bench in courtroom 1F, where the gavel has slammed against the Constitution, shattering it rendering it void.. as if our very Constitution were made of glass, and could be easily discarded.

Judge Karen J Asphaug

Courtroom 1DScene of “Rigged Trial” – It is here the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial was conducted under the jurisdiction of Judge Karen Asphaug (July 25-28, 2016).

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is found guilty on 6 counts of deprivation of parental rights after Judge Karen Asphaug disallowed the majority of evidence supporting the affirmative defense she raised.

Sandra raisde the affirmative defense in her criminal trial, meaning she admitted to assisting her daughters because feared for their safety. If the jury found enough evidence to support the affirmative defense, Sandra could be exonerated. Sandra’s defense depended on proving why she feared for the safety of her daughters. Judge Asphaug suppressed 75% of defense evidence during the criminal trial including: witness testimony, Rucki’s criminal history, CPS and social service records documenting the abuse of the Rucki children, evidence of stalking, protective orders Sandra took out against Rucki, and more..

Sandra is actively appealing the decision.

Holding CellThe Adult Holding Cell is where attorney Michelle MacDonald was detained, and she says “tortured” by order of Judge Knutson, during the Grazzini-Rucki custody trial (September 11-12, 2017). Judge Knutson ordered that MacDonald be detained because she took pictures in the courtroom when it was not in session. The popular story is that MacDonald got in trouble for taking pictures of Deputy Timothy Gonder. Just do a social media search and you will see that pictures are routinely taken in the Dakota County Judicial Center, and no one else is punished in the way MacDonald was. The truth is that the pictures were taken of the court docket to document irregularities in the scheduling of the case. MacDonald was documenting, in pictures, the illegal actions of Judge Knutson and, to him,  had to be stopped.

After the trial (which was not a trial in any sense of the word!), attorney Michelle MacDonald was not allowed to leave court but, instead, was unlawfully detained for through the night and into the next day. MacDonald was held for more than 24 hours without being booked, charged, or allowed bail, bond, or to make a phone call. She was never read her Miranda rights.

Interesting enough, Judge Michael Mayer, who presided over the juvenile trial of the runaway Rucki girls, made a personal appearance to the detention center to witness MacDonald’s humiliation, and tears. With a snide laugh he taunted her by saying, “Having a rough day?”

Also present was Deputy Timothy Gonder, the personal thug of Judge Knutson. Deputy Gonder manhandled Michelle MacDonald and meted out punishment by unofficial judicial order. Gonder would also make an appearance when Sandra was injured while being held in the Ramsey County Correctional Facility during criminal proceedings, and would be the subject of a PREA complaint after he took inappropriate pictures while she was handcuffed to a bed, and made special efforts to humiliate her.

MacDonald later filed a lawsuit, claiming the sheriff’s office engaged in seven of the internationally recognized forms of torture: sexual humiliation, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, solitary confinement/isolation, temperature extremes, sensory bombardment and psychological techniques.

The lawsuit describes the cruelty inflicted on MacDonald – deputies turned the temperature of the room down to freezing and kept the bright lights on all night to keep her awake. MacDonald took the toilet paper and wrapped it around her head and body and feet to keep in an vain effort to keep warm. The guard came in and ripped it off her, saying she was not using it properly. Pictures were taken of MacDonald in her cell in an effort to humiliate her. Guards made comments about prisoner suicide as a way to intimidate her. All of this MacDonald suffered because she bravely defended Sandra, and her Constitutional rights, in Judge Knutson’s lawless court, room 1F.

Michelle MacDonald was eventually released, no charges were ever brought against her related to this incident. Judge Leslie Metzen ultimately determined that Michelle MacDonald’s civil rights had been violated by the illegal search and seizure of the camera.

 Courtroom 1B: Interactive Television (ITV) Demonstration and Judge Chamber 109

The Judge’s Chamber should be called the Torture Chamber for what was done to the Rucki children in the Dakota County Judicial Center.

In February 2013, the Rucki children were summoned to the chambers of Judge David Knutson. The Rucki children not only disclosed abuse to Judge Knutson but clearly stated their preference to live with mother, Sandra, where they felt safe and loved. Enraged, Judge Knutson ordered that the proceedings be sealed.

That same day, David Rucki had a pending case in criminal court for violating a no-contact order that prohibited him from contacting the children. Judge Knutson made special efforts to have all criminal charges against Rucki dismissed, which did happen.

Even after hearing serious allegations of abuse from the Rucki children, and with knowledge that Rucki violated a no-contact order, Judge Knutson ordered that very same day the children be forced to a visit their father. Dr. James Gilbertson, therapist, recommended the children be held in a room and an armed bailiff be used as a show of force in order to get the children to comply. Court records reveal the older children – specifically S.R. and G.R. were viewed as a problem. The “problem” being that they raised abuse allegations and were vocal in objecting to forced visits with Rucki (i.e they didn’t go along with “the programming”).

Another tactic used on the Rucki children, at the recommendation of Dr. Gilbertson, is that the older children were separated from the younger children. This was done so the younger children would have no protection and no advocate, and could be psychologically broken down more easily, and thus, easier to control.

At other times, court records reveal, the Rucki children were brought to the courthouse by order of Judge Knutson, where they were held for hours, in a room without food or drink, without toys, and without comfort of any kind. An armed bailiff was posted at the door to prevent escape. The records reveal the children were extremely anxious and upset to be brought to the court, which would be understandable considering what the children had to endure.

On one occasion, Dr. Gilbertson recommended the children be forced to sit in during proceedings and watch what happened as David Rucki raised false, and outrageous allegations against Sandra, who was then punished by Judge Knutson – who always ruled in Rucki’s favor. The children were sent a clear message that their mother, and protector, could no longer protect them.. that their father held all the power.

Other times, the Rucki children were detained in the courthouse and then forced, against their wishes, to visit with their father, Rucki. There are allegations that Rucki would intimidate the children during visits, give them the middle finger, that he was angry and made veiled threats. Even Dr. Gilbertson records in his notes that the children were visibly afraid of Rucki. Yet “reunification therapy” continued… it is no wonder that the children attempted to run away after their cries for help were ignored, and they were subject to further abuse.

In-Custody CourtroomMoney is the root of all evil.. the In-Custody Courtroom is where Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was brought for a bail hearing on November 6, 2015 and a $1 million dollar bail was issued for a defendant with no prior criminal history, and for a non-violent crime.. Sandra’s bail was much, much higher than most serious offenders.

Is at coincidence judge assigned to do bails that was none other than Judge Knutson?!? However, since Judge Knutson was busy with other tasks that day, the stand-in judge stepped in on his behalf and blindly ordered the astronomical amount of bail without a second thought.

The situation is even more unusual because Sandra was removed from the in-custody courtroom and taken, through a back hall, into a room hidden from public view, where bail was issued.

On February 24th, Sandra was released on her own recognizance. Outside of these trumped up charges, she remains law abiding and poses no threat to anyone.. other than the corruption in Dakota County that does not want to be exposed.

Banner – Source – http://www.mncourts.gov

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Minnesota Appellate Court Cover Up: Corruption Continues in Grazzini-Rucki Child Support Ruling

(Dakota County, MN: August 21, 2017) – Minnesota Appellate Court defends ruling of Dakota County Magistrate Maria K. Pastoor to order homeless, destitute Sandra Grazzini-Rucki to pay nearly $1,000 a month in child support to multi-millionaire ex-husband, David Rucki. Appellate Court says Magistrate Pastoor’s ruling was “reasonable” and “did not constitute an abuse of discretion”.

Sandra admitted in a recent interview that she relies on couch surfing and eat cold cans of Spaghetti-O’s in order to survive. She has been turned away from shelters because many in Minnesota are afraid of Rucki (who has harassed and threatened supporters of Sandra). Every day Sandra lives in uncertainty.. And she should be concerned, because the child support ruling has been upheld by the Appellate Court, it could be used as grounds to issue an arrest warrant for child support, and throw Sandra into  jail. 

In comparison, David Rucki lives in a castle-like home in a wealthy suburb of Lakeville and enjoys a luxury lifestyle.

Rucki has used one of the many classic cars he owns to stalk Sandra.

Stalking – David Rucki driving his classic Cadillac

And at one point, Rucki retained at least two attorneys – costing him nearly $1,000 per hour (the other attorney, Marshall Tannick was retained to intimidate bloggers to stop reporting on the Grazzini-Rucki case). Not bad for a welfare recipient!

Responsive Affidavit, Lisa Elliot, 7/2/2015, shows David Rucki pays an hourly rate of $310 for her services

 

Judicial Cronyism in Grazzini-Rucki Case

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki will never receive a fair trial in Minnesota due to the high levels of judicial corruption and cronyism that have inappropriately influenced her case at every level, and resulted in real violations of her due process and Constitutional rights and caused significant harm.

This is just a small example of the judicial corruption and cronyism occurring in the Grazzini-Rucki case, there is much, much more to this story…

Judge Jill Flaskcamp Halbrooks, who made this recent appellate decision, has been on nearly all of the Grazzini-Rucki appeals – for both civil and criminal cases — and has ruled against Sandra in each and every case.

Judge Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks

Judge Flaskcamp Halbrooks previously was a member of the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards with Judge David L. Knutson, the family court judge on the Grazzini-Rucki case. 2015 Board on Judicial Standard Members and Staff

Child Support Magistrate Pastoor also shares a prior professional relationship to Judge David L. Knutson. Magistrate Pastoor identifies herself as a feminist and a defender of abused women, even though she has vocally supported and enabled identified abuser, David Rucki.  Battered from the Bench: Magistrate Pastoor Advocates for Legal Protection of Abused Women, Does Opposite in Grazzini-Rucki Child Support Case

Overwhelming evidence exists that Rucki abused Sandra and the children including The definitive dossier documenting David Rucki’s violence: 99 pages of police reports, orders for protection, letters, affidavits, and more…

Judge David L Knutson

The rulings of Judge David L Knutson caused Sandra to become homeless, destitute and estranged from her children. Judge Knutson re-opened the Grazzini-Rucki case after the divorce was finalized and ignored testimony from Rucki that he was initiating the re-opening of the divorce to commit financial fraud. Read More: David Rucki “Paper Divorce” Scam/

Rucki admitted in court that he was seeking a “paper divorce” and Judge Knutson determined that Sandra was not aware of her husband’s intentions at the time of the divorce. Despite this, Judge Knutson acted as a co-conspirator in the “paper divorce” fraud when he ordered that 100% of the marital property be awarded to Rucki to include four homes, several vehicles, all the furniture and household property, the bank accounts, the trucking business…everything including Sandra’s personal belongings and photos of the five Rucki children. Knutson also ordered that any and all income that Sandra should earn or save would be turned over to Rucki for the rest of her life. Sandra’s savings and even her retirement fund have been stolen by court order and turned over to Rucki. Sandra and the children’s portion of a family trust left to them by her parents was also plundered and turned over to Rucki.

In fact, Rucki has been so enriched by the divorce that he is in a better place financially now than when married. And yet Rucki claims he is impoverished and in need of financial assistance!

Read More: Multi-Millionaire Rucki claims pauper status in court

Courts Acknowledge Grazzini-Rucki is Homeless

Several Minnesota courts as well as Dakota County Prosecutor Kathryn Keena, and a former probation officer, have established that Sandra is, indeed, homeless.

In fact, when Sandra was discharged from probation by Judge Karen Asphaug, and put on court monitoring in November 2016, she was released without having been required to provide an address or phone number because the court believed she is homeless.

Sandra also qualifies for informa pauperis status on both her family court and criminal cases (this means “in the form of a pauper” and allows court filing fees and certain costs to be paid when a party is determined indigent).

David Rucki: Welfare’s Trust Fund Baby

David Rucki is a trust fund baby who is the beneficiary of the Rucki family trust, he has made millions in the trucking industry and only is successful in claiming that he is impoverished because Dakota County refuses to make Rucki comply with the normal income verification or reporting required when applying for public assistance.

A traffic ticket Rucki received in August 2016 indicates that he has continues to have access to, and use, a checking account from the defunct Rucki Trucking, which has been out of business since 2014.That Rucki has access to and is actively using a bank account that once held millions of dollars – should be a red flag. Rucki Trucking netted millions while in business; the company and it’s trucks have since been re-named TL Rucki Trucking and transferred into the name of Rucki’s sister, Tammy Jo Love.

 

In addition, court records list Rucki’s home address as being in Farmington, which shows he has use of two separate homes.

Tax records indicate the home in Farmington is worth $236,000 and is a home with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, that has recently underwent extensive remodeling. Rucki claims to be using the Farmington property as a rental property, generating income that was never considered when calculating child support.

David Rucki’s property in Farmington, MN

Rucki’s second home in Lakeville is worth $475,000 – he claims he lives at this address. The Lakeville home is the subject of a previous complaint of mortgage fraud that resulted from Rucki’s “paper divorce” scheme, no charges were ever filled although the activity on the property is certainly unusual and should have triggered investigation. mortgagefrauda

Yet the Appellate Court found no grounds for “abuse of judicial discretion“.. how is that even possible??

 

Diesel Therapy: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s Torturous Journey on Prison Transport

If you even possibly imagine how bad being locked down for 23 hours a day in a cell with a woman who just killed somebody could be, transport was a thousand times worse...” Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

A recent interview of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on F.A.C.E. U.S. describes her torturous journey on prison transport that involved nearly a month of being shackled hand to foot, and placed in a dog cage, as she was driven in a jagged route from Florida to Minnesota from October-November 2015 after a sealed warrant was issued for her rest. At the time of transport, Sandra had no prior criminal history, and was not convicted of any crime.

Listen Here: The Grazzini-Rucki Story as You’ve Never Heard Before  

Diesel Therapy” – The Dangerous Route of Prison Transport

Prison transport is often referred to as “diesel therapy”, nicknamed for the exhaust fumes that permeate transport vans. Diesel therapy is notorious for its extreme and degrading treatment of prisoners where neglect as well as physical and mental abuse is common. Trips can last weeks and months at a time; in which prisoners at held at the mercy of their captors.

In the United States, tens of thousands of suspects and fugitives, many who have not been convicted of a crime (like Sandra at the time of this transport) are transferred from jails and prisons into the care of private companies that handle transport, and operate with almost no oversight or accountability. Transport companies are usually paid per mile, and guards are generally paid only for their time on the road, so they have an incentive to pack vans tightly and take as little breaks as possible. Numerous investigations into the prison transport industry have revealed rampant abuse and neglect of prisoners, and in some cases prisoners actually die from the inhumane conditions, abuse or vehicle crashes/accidents.

On prison transport trips, violent and repeat felons are often transported alongside suspects (and may be chained together). Even something as simple as a child support warrant could land you into diesel therapy, shackled next to a child predator or drug lord. The lack of security on prison transport is also a concern – in some cases prisoners have escaped from transport, or have attacked guards or other prisoners. Sexual assault of female prisoners is also routinely reported on transport – with perpetrators identified as guards, drivers or even other male prisoners. Once inside the prison system, there is little or no recourse for prisoners to file grievances, and they risk retaliation for raising concerns.

At an emotional moment in the show, Sandra’s distress can audibly be heard as she struggles to put into words the abuse she suffered in jail and transport, “About after about 6 days of what was going on.. I don’t know if people really want to know what goes on, because you don’t know what goes on in jails, but people know that people that aren’t really that type of people and they take full advantage of it..and if they feel they got somebody in there that may be proper they will do whatever they can to make it worse for them… And that’s what they did to me. They took advantage of the fact that … whatever..” Sandra is not able to talk further… perhaps she is afraid to say anymore.

From American Mom to Fighting for Survival

How Sandra went from former beauty queen and mother to being criminally charged for her efforts to protect her children from abuse is a journey that has transported her from “a basic American mom” to a woman who is now fighting for her survival.

In her former life Sandra lived in Lakeville, a rural suburb in Minnesota, where she was a stay-at-home mother of 5 children. She also worked as a flight attendant. Sandra is a former beauty queen who is known not just for being attractive but having a beautiful heart as well. She actively volunteered in her community, opened her doors to the neighborhood children to stop by and devoted her life to the care of her 5 children.  Sandra has said it was her dream to be a wife and mother, and that“my children were my world”. However, she did not anticipate that her husband would be an abusive monster with a lengthy criminal history, who would also physically and mentally abuse the children she so loves.

So how did Sandra become destitute, homeless, and now, a 6 time felon who is permanently banned from seeing her children for the rest of their lives? The answer will shock you: she sought a divorce. David Rucki, ex-husband, is a wealthy, well-connected abuser, who has continued to batter Sandra through the family court and legal system. The Grazzini-Rucki family court and criminal case has been overwhelmed with corruption, abuse of judicial power and laws that are routinely broken…the victims in this are the 5 Rucki children who continued to be trapped in an abusive home, and Sandra, whose life remains endangered by the court system that should have protected her and the children.

Sealed Warrant Used to Ambush Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

Now, shocking new details emerge about the initial arrest of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the inhumane treatment she received during transport.

Some background needed to understand this story – A nationwide warrant for Sandra’s arrest was submitted by Dakota County Prosecuting Attorney Kathryn M. Keena and not only approved but put under a seal on August 12, 2015. Sandra was charged with 3 counts of felony deprivation of parental rights, a seal means the warrant was kept secret. The seal was to last until Sandra is arrested, and returned to Minnesota. A sealed warrant also means that Sandra was not notified that a warrant was issued against her – and given absolutely no chance to voluntarily turn herself in.

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

Despite the seal, information regarding the warrant was leaked to a local reporter from an unknown source. Whoever leaked the warrant committed an illegal act, though the reporter did nothing illegal by receiving or publishing the information.Sandra was not living in Minnesota at the time of the warrant, and is not aware of the news reports. Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie claims the leak was just a “glitch”. Dakota County’s mishanding of Sandra’s arrest warrant is NOT just a “glitch” – it is a serious error that has violated Sandra’s due process rights and resulted in egregious harm being inflicted upon her.

Since the warrant was leaked into the press, there was no legitimate reason for it to remain sealed. But that is not what happened in Dakota County – after the warrant is leaked, it is then re-sealed, making it impossible for Sandra, or her attorney, to be notified of its existence. Providing Sandra with a notice to appear in court would have been appropriate in this case, and easier than what happened next. Instead, Dakota County relentlessly pursued Sandra.

Sandra was apprehended by U.S. Marshalls, in Florida on October 18, 2015. She was temporarily held in jail then transported across the country to be brought back to Minnesota to answer to criminal charges. The story continues… Pt. II Diesel Therapy: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s Torturous Journey on Prison Transport

Pt. II Diesel Therapy: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s Torturous Journey on Prison Transport

Public Domain: wallpapersin4k.net

Continued from Part 1: Diesel Therapy: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s Torturous Journey on Prison Transport

U.S. Marshal Mayhem

At 66 minutes into The Grazzini-Rucki Story as You’ve Never Heard Before  Sandra bravely shares what happened when she was apprehended by U.S. Marshals, her time in jail, and the horror of prison transport.

On October 18, 2015, Sandra was working as a flight attendant, and during her layover sharing a hotel room with a co-worker (which normal for that profession). Sandra went to bed as usual but later was startled awake by voices shouting her name. She opened her eyes to see four men with shotguns pointed at her face, wearing full swat gear with goggles over their eyes. Sandra was grabbed by the arm and yanked to the ground. She was then handcuffed and walked into the next room where she saw her co-worker, also in handcuffs.

The co-worker was sleeping on a couch in another room when, without warning, U.S. Marshals kicked the door in and threw the co-worker to ground. Gus were drawn against his head and he was handcuffed behind his back. The co-worker has never been charged with a crime, he was only subjected to this terrifying treatment because he was in the same unit as Sandra at the time of capture.

U.S. Marshals tore the hotel room apart, asking “Where is the guns?” “Where is the kids? Sandra was shocked to learn that she was charged with gun running, kidnapping and human trafficking. Keep in mind, news of the “sealed” arrest warrant had been reported in one of the largest newspapers in Minnesota two months prior – and according to their report Sandra was only being charged with felony deprivation of parental rights. The U.S. Marshals were acting on false information, even though the entire State of Minnesota had been notified of the real charges through the press: Mother sought in case of two missing Lakeville girls

After weeks of surveillance, and use of extensive manpower on the tax payer’s dime, the U.S. Marshals turned up two flight bags and two flight attendant uniforms in their exhaustive investigation that somehow was not able to detect the phony charges. All of Sandra’s belongings were confiscated and have never been returned. Dave Oney has a lot of explaining to do about the Marshal’s mishandling of the Grazzini-Rucki case, yet remains purposefully evasive.

The U.S. Marshals is the oldest law enforcement agency in the Department of Justice and supposed to be the most experienced, and yet they have been bamboozled by the officials of Dakota County, which is nothing more than a blip in the middle of the Minnesota cornfields. How does a podunk Prosecutor’s office con the U.S. Marshals into believing a stay-at-home mom and flight attendant of 30+ years with an impeccable service record is a violent criminal? The role of the Marshal’s in the Grazzini-Rucki case should be investigated, continued silence and cover up erodes public trust in the program, and hints an even bigger problem may exist.

Once the U.S. Marshals detain a suspect the next step is to take them into federal custody – but that never happened. Sandra was told by Marshals that “this never happened before” and “there was a misunderstanding” regarding the serious, felony level charges leveled against her. Misunderstanding? How is that possible – the reporters at the local press knew what the charges were, and have rigorously defended their story – and yet the U.S. Marshals can’t get their story straight! Dakota County refused to sign Sandra into federal custody and instead asked the Marshals to handle the case as “just a local issue. Sandra was booked into a county jail based on the sealed warrant. Btw Dave Oney claims the Marshals went to these lengths because Sandra was a fugitive. But the warrant was sealed so it is impossible for her to be a fugitive – how can you flee from something that you do not know exists?

Shackled, Shoved Into a Dog Cage

Sandra was booked into jail in Osceola County, Florida, based on the warrant from Dakota County/Prosecutor Keena. Despite the “misunderstanding”, Sandra was still being held as a federal fugitive and placed on the maximum level of security. This meant that Sandra was placed into a cell block reserved for the most serious offenders, and roomed into a prison cell with a women who murdered a man during a robbery by shooting him the face with a shotgun. Sandra says about the cell block she was placed into that it was “like Charlie Manson on steroids”.

The cellmate was surprised to see Sandra enter, stating she is at the high level of security, as a convicted murdered, and says she does not get roommates because of her crime. Sandra recalls being questioned by the cellmate as to why she was there. Michael Volpe comments that the authorities refused to fix the error because they probably wanted Sandra in maximum security, with a dangerous cellmate.

Public Domain: wall.alphacoders.com

If Sandra thought her situation was dire, things were about to get worse as she was given a strong dose of “diesel therapy”.

At 76 minutes into the show Sandra’s voice begins to tremble as she recalls the moment she was dragged out of the cell in the middle of the night, and her ordeal on prison transport began. Luckily for her, the prisoners warned Sandra to put multiple pads in her pants (prisoners are rarely given bathroom breaks). Sandra was also warned that she would be deprived of food and water. From behind bars, Sandra looked North toward the freedom star, her view was obstructed by cinder block walls and darkness. Even in her worst nightmares, she could not imagine the journey ahead.

Prison transport vans are outfitted with interior bars or cages; the rear cargo area where the prisoners are held usually has no windows and relies on ventilation from an inadequate cooling system with few vents and unpredictable service. Transport vans do not have toilets or beds. Medical services are not provided, and prisoners are commonly deprived of medications. Food is in limited supply and water, rationed. There is no contact with the outside world – no way to reach family, friends or even your attorney. Prisoners disappear on a long, lonely road that intersects on American highways yet goes entirely unnoticed.

When Sandra describes how she was handcuffed, she could be describing a medieval torture device. Sandra’s wrists were first handcuffed. Sandra’s feet were then shackled. On long transport trips, handcuffs often cut into the skin, causing circulation problems. Long trips with rough metal cuffs rubbing against the skin cause chafing or sores. And if that was not enough – like Sandra is the Incredible Hulk who could rip out of chains at any time?!? – her hands are then secured to her feet with another chain. Sandra says she was forced to assume a “squatted down position”. Imagine being forced to remain in that position for 12-16 hours a day, unable to stretch or move.. sleep is nearly impossible. That is what Sandra endured.

But shackles and chains for this petite, former beauty queen whose booking records note she is all of 112 pounds and stands all of 5 feet tall is not enough.. because Sandra was then placed into what she calls a “dog cage. All of this Sandra because she fought to protect her children from abuse against a family court system that ignored their cries for help and put the children in harm’s way. Some may call Sandra a criminal but it is clear that only a mother who truly loves her children would make such great sacrifices for their well-being, even risking her life for them.

Sandra says about prison transport, “I don’t know how many states we hit”.The van criss-crossed across the country – “from Florida up to Georgia down to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, over to Dallas , Oklahoma back to Kansas, Missouri, back up to.. I hit so many states…” When the van stopped at a jail, Sandra was booked, meaning her mugshot was taken and she was temporarily assigned a cell. A trail of mugshots exists to document this horrific trip. Once Sandra’s beautiful face graced glamour shots and public events, the toll the transport has taken on her can be seen in her tired eyes and pale complexion, she is barely hanging on.

Almost the entire trip, Sandra remained shackled and shoved into a dog cage. David Rucki’s own dogs were given better treatment that Sandra… his use of the legal system to pummel his ex-wife is more effective at inflicting damage than the bruises he used to leave on her. And if the legal system were not enough of a threat, Sandra was placed on transport with the “worst of the worst” – rapists, murdered, lifelong criminals, whose last breath of fresh air would be experienced on the shuffled walk between the transport van and the big house.

Prison transports are known for lengthy trips, where prisoners may spend sometimes up to 12-16 hours per day on the road, in confines. Sandra pleaded with the guards to be let out of the dog cage. She could barely move so she used her voice to reach beyond the cage. Sandra pleaded with the guards to look her name up on the internet, to visit websites (the same sites David Rucki is trying to shut down!) and research her story. Sandra hoped that if the guards knew about her story they would know that she is not dangerous criminal, not convicted of any crime, and perhaps would relent. The drivers did look Sandra up. And after reading more about Sandra they said “something is not right here” and “they lightened up on me a bit – a bit”.

Fears for the Future

It took almost 3 weeks for Sandra to arrive back to Minnesota on the prison transport from Florida. What kept her strong  in the darkest of times is memories of her children, and the love she has for them. 

In June 2017, the Justice Department launched an investigation into the nation’s largest prison transport company, Prisoner Transportation Services due to allegations of prisoner abuse. According to Business Insider,”Since 2012, at least five inmates have died on PTS vans from alleged medical neglect. Since 2000, another two dozen people have been killed or seriously injured in more than 50 crashes on private extradition vehicles nationwide.Justice Department probes alleged abuses on prison transport vans

The threat that Dakota County will issue another warrant hangs over Sandra’s head, like a noose, head every day. Laws have been routinely broken in the Grazzini-Rucki case and there would be no way for Sandra to protect herself. In the darkest of and held in a jail until the gates of hell to a prison van open, and she is subjected to another degrading transport… a journey she may not survive.

Sandra has vocally expressed in interviews, that she will continue to fight for justice until her children are safe, for them she would risk her life.

 

Grazzini-Rucki Sources:

Does a recently found police report exonerate Sandra Grazzini-Rucki?

Unwarranted: Was the Arrest Warrant Against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Improperly Handled?

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and I Talking About US Marshals Corruption in her case

Prison Transport Sources:

Diesel Therapy: U.S. Marshals Oversee Medieval Torture Caravan

https://www.Inside the Deadly World of Private Prisoner Transport

Appellate Briefs Reveal More Shocking Behavior in Rucki Case

** BREAKING NEWS ** From Michael Volpe and PPJ Gazette reporting on the appellate cases of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold

Briefs Reveal More Shocking Behavior in Rucki Case.

“In separate response briefs to pro se attorneys, the Dakota County Prosecutor’s Office has acknowledged jury tampering, misdirected an allegation of witness tampering, and refused to respond to address all allegations of judicial misconduct in the Rucki case.

The briefs from Dakota County Prosecutor James Backstrom were in response to briefs filed by Dede Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, both representing themselves.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom

 

Evavold has been representing herself after the state ruled her too well off to receive an attorney while Grazzini-Rucki was represented but was so disgusted by her attorney’s brief that she filed one on her own.

Her attorney, Steven Russett, who was provided by the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender’s Office, did not respond to an email and voicemail for comment.

In the most startling admission, the prosecutors acknowledge- responding to Grazzini-Rucki- that a reporter approached the jury while they were in a common area during a lunch break and asked if any wanted to be interviewed when the trial ended.

The reporter’s name is Laura Adelmann, who works for the Sun Current, the hometown newspaper of Lakeville, Minnesota, where the Rucki’s live. “There was one occasion during trial in which it was it was reported to Judge Asphaug that a reporter (I.E. Laura Adelmann) had approached the jurors while they were eating in the common area of the courthouse and asked if she could interview them after the trial was over.” Backstrom’s brief stated.

 This incident occurred on Friday July 18, 2016, while the trial was ongoing, and on Monday July 21, 2016, Judge Asphaug issued this statement to the court gallery.

I also received information that a member of the press approached our jurors last week and asked if jurors would be willing to speak after the trial. It is- I am ordering that you may not approach the jurors in the common area of the courthouse. It is- it has a chilling effect. It concerns jurors don’t do it.” An email to Adelmann was left unreturned. A voicemail to her editor, Tad Johnson, was also left unreturned.

Judge Karen Asphaug

Though the trial was covered internationally there was not one story which referred to Asphaug’s statement while the trial was ongoing.

Emails to Karen Zamora and Brandon Stahl, who each covered parts of the trial for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, were left unreturned.

An email to Michael Brodkorb, who has boasted that he covered each day of the trial, was also left unreturned.

Emails to 20/20 host, Elizabeth Vargas, and her two producers, Beth Mullin and Sean Dooley, were also left unreturned; 20/20 covered parts of the trial though it’s not clear if they were there that day.

Beau Berentson said “Our office does not conduct legal research,” in an email.

But when asked if an investigation had been started or if anyone had been disciplined for allowing press to get so close to the jury- a major break in protocol according to everyone this reporter spoke with- Berentson did not respond.

While lawyers who spoke with this reporter said it was unprecedented that press would ever get so close to a jury during trial, they were split on its significance.

Michael McCray, a United States Department of Agriculture whistleblower and lawyer, said he believed that such an interaction would cause all sorts of thoughts to enter a jury’s head “not one will be about the merits of the case.”

Lee Dryer is a Nashville attorney and part-time judge.

No trial is perfect,” Dryer said, but was less concerned since nothing about the case was discussed.

Dryer said he was more concerned with an allegation of witness tampering; Samantha Rucki, Grazzini-Rucki’s daughter who ran away, responded to Kelli Coughlin a Lakeville Police Department Detective, who asked her if she was at a police interview conducted approximately a month before her mother’s trial.

This police interview occurred approximately a month prior to her mother’s trial on June 30, 2016.

They (her father and his sister) basically said I have to (go to the interview) and I have to be here and I have to recant everything I said and it’s going and that’s the way it’s gonna be- and they made me feel guilty about it and I started to cry.” Samantha responded when asked if she was at the interview of her own free will.

Judge Asphaug refused to allow the interview into Grazzini-Rucki’s trial, Samantha Rucki testified by Skype, with her aunt, grandmother, and attorney in the same room but not in camera, her father was listening in from outside the door.

David Rucki Facebook April 2016, Public Statement About Missing Daughters

Furthermore, Judge Asphaug would only allow a limited number of questions. Samantha then downplayed the abuse and claimed she ran away to get away from a bad divorce.

Dryer said that having Samantha testify by Skype raises sixth amendment issues, of a defendant confronting their accuser.

Judge Asphaug argued that Samantha was too fragile to see her mother, but child rape victims are forced to confront their alleged rapist if that rapist is to be convicted.

In their response brief, prosecutors argued that since they weren’t directly involved in the witness tampering, they shouldn’t be held responsible.

Appellant (Evavold) fails to detail what misconduct Respondent (Dakota County Prosecutor) engaged in. In support of her argument, Appellant points to an interview that was conducted by law enforcement of SVR (Samantha). Appellant is under the misbelief that Respondent somehow coerced SVR into providing the statement and that SVR lied in the statement.

The prosecutor’s brief only alludes to a police interview but does not detail what Samantha said in the interview.

Dede Evavold also argued that there was judicial and prosecutorial misconduct, charges not answered by Backstrom.

Judge Asphaug placed herself on Evavold’s, Grazzini-Rucki’s, and the Dahlen’s cases, and refused to recuse herself when each of the four defendants asked.

Furthermore, in 2010, she appears to have fixed a case for David Rucki.

On September 8, 2009, David Rucki went into a fit of rage against his neighbors while they were escorting approximately a dozen two and three-year-old children to the daycare facility they ran.

Complainant stated his wife, two children, and six daycare kids ages three and under were in the driveway when suspect (David Rucki) approached. He stated the suspect threatened his wife, his son, and called them all assholes while standing in the cul-de-sac in front of their home. While I was speaking with the complainant, he informed me that the suspect drove by as we were speaking and put up his middle finger on his left hand at him. Complainant said that they have had on-going harassment type issues with the suspect and his dogs as a result of operating a home daycare facility. He said suspect’s dogs repeatedly come into his yard when daycare parents and kids arrive, barking and growling and the guests as the children are dropped off. He said they have tried to talk to the suspect in the past to mediate the situation, but that he no longer feels comfortable due to elevated language and behavior.

Rucki was charged with disorderly conduct and the case came in front of Judge Asphaug. On the eve of trial, Asphaug dismissed the case for a lack of probable cause, an inexplicable decision which has never been explained.

Lack of probable cause applies to cases with little or no evidence not an incident witnessed by several adults and approximately twelve children. Furthermore, if a case is dismissed due to a lack of probable cause it would be during normal pre-trial hearings, not on the eve of trial, and there’s no evidence that any sort of motion was even filed to trigger this.

Asphaug proceeded to exclude approximately 90% of the evidence of abuse: including David Rucki’s police report, all Child Protective Services reports, all orders for protection against David Rucki, and letters, from Sandra Grazzini Rucki’s, Dede Evavold’s, and the Dahlen’s trials.

Backstrom’s office provided answers to most of the charges of judicial misconduct but not all.

For instance, in their reply brief, the prosecution claims that Grazzini-Rucki only referred to three items as being excluded: The Fox 9 Newscast from June 2013, the GPS tracker from when David Rucki placed a tracker under Grazzini-Rucki’s friend and advocate’s car, Michael Rhedin, and Social Services records.

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

But while Grazzini-Rucki did complain about these, and their exclusion is significant, police reports, letters, and other recordings were also excluded; Sandra Grazzini-Rucki complained of clear judicial bias.

The prosecution downplayed in its brief the breadth of the evidence excluded during trial.

Backstrom’s office did not respond to emails for comment.”

Dierdre “Dede” Evavold Appeals Criminal Conviction

From Red Herring Alert blog… Dierdre “Dede” Evavold filed an appeals her criminal conviction State of MN vs. Deirdre Evavold A17-0200

Dede Evavold

Evavold Appeal 2017  is a compelling read that begins with the argument that Dede was wrongfully charged and convicted of parental deprivation and that, quote (p.5), “The affirmative defense did not need to be raised as there was substantial evidence supporting the affirmative defense. The state had all evidence that no crime was committed and that the girls ran away because of abuse...” That statement is validated by police reports that show when paternal aunt Tammy Love reported S.R. and G.R. as missing that she admitted the girls had run away because they were “upset because court ordered her and her sister to live with aunt…” Another police report dated 11/23/2015, the day the girls were found living at the Dahlen ranch again affirms they did run away of their own free will and would run again if forced to live with their abusive father,”Both girls made it very clear to me that if they were forced to go with their dad, they would run again…

The appeal also argues:

*The State purposely ignored allegations and documentation indicating child abuse of S.R. and G.R. occurred.

*The State refused to investigate allegations of witness tampering because it would hurt its case to do so.

*Additional charges were filed against Evavold after S.R. was forced to recant her statements due to pressure and intimidation asserted against her by father, David Rucki, and paternal aunt, Tammy Love. S.R.’s story then changed from her original statements, which is witness tampering. The State should have never been allowed to proceed with prosecution due to witness tampering. (p.8-9)

*The Dakota County Attorney’s Office obstructed the discovery process and failed to provide all evidence available to Evavold. (p.12-21)

*Prosecutor Kathryn Keena attempted to force Evavold to plead guilty without allowing her to see all of the evidence of the case, which has been dubbed a “trial by ambush”. (p. 16-17)

*Judge Karen Asphaug should have recused herself from the case because she was involved with previous criminal proceedings involving David Rucki where she ruled in his favor, and then concealed her role in the cases. (p.21) (Also read this expose written by journalist Michael Volpe on the subject: Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases? )

*Judge Asphaug assigned herself to all 4 criminal trials relating to the Grazzini-Rucki parental deprivation case, “this action led to knowledge of disputed facts and affected impartiality“.

(Side Note: Judge Asphaug’s husband David Warg is a former partner in a law firm with Judge Tim D. Wermager. Judge Wermager was the first judge assigned to the Grazzini-Rucki divorce. Wermager sworn in as judge)

*Due process violations prevented Evavold from getting a fair trial.

Additional information about the Grazzini-Rucki case, and the criminal trial of Dede Evavold can be heard at the following link: Dede Evavold: Paying for Being an Activist for Change. Village Connection Radio with Fletcher Long and Carlos Rivera.

 

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

REPOST CDN NEWS: Does a Recent Police Report Exonerate Sandra Grazzini-Rucki?

Does a recently found police report exonerate Sandra Grazzini-Rucki? <– READ FULL ARTICLE! 

Michael Volpe, of CDN News, reports on a newly released police report from the Lakeville P.D. that reveals that runaway teens, Samantha and Gianna Rucki, fought against returning to their father after being discovered living on a therapeutic horse ranch after going into hiding for more than 2 years. The girls decided to run away after the family court system failed to protect them from an abusive father and placed them into a custody situation they felt was unsafe.

That Samantha and Gianna threatened to run away from their father’s care AFTER being discovered by police the supports defense raised by mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, that she hid them for their safety (which is an affirmative defense). The girls demonstrated palpable fear of their father, David Rucki. It also validates the defense of Doug and Gina Dahlen who claimed both girls repeatedly threatened to run away if returned to their father, and they allowed the girls to stay on the ranch for their own safety, and that the girls were free to leave at any time but chose to stay of their own free will.

The police report, from November 21, 2015, was never seen before by Sandra who was charged with parental deprivation for her efforts to protect her daughters. As part of the discovery process, this police report should have been turned over to Grazzini-Rucki, and the 3 other defendants charged in this case.

According to Volpe: “If the Dakota County Prosecutor, whose office prosecuted the case, failed to provide this police report, this would be a “Brady violation” named after the U.S. Supreme Court Case Brady V Maryland, in which a conviction was overturned after prosecutors failed to provide exculpatory evidence, meaning, in this case, evidence favorable to the defense. In order for a legal proceeding to be just, all evidence must be shared with both sides…Ignoring Brady is not only an egregious violation of prosecutorial ethics…

Volpe goes on to say: “Given this issue, under normal circumstances, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s conviction would have been thrown out. But nothing has been normal in this case.

READ the police report for yourself –  Lakeville P.D. Supplement Report Grazzini-Rucki 11/21/2015

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom

Upon being found at a therapeutic horse ranch belonging to Doug and Gina Dahlen on 11/18/2015, the Rucki sisters told police they would run away again if returned to the care of their father, David Rucki.

According to the police report: “Samantha and Gianna came down, and immediately told us that they would not go back to their father. We told them that our first concern was their safety. I did ask them about the last time that they had heard from their mother, and they told me that they would not say anything without a lawyer.The report also indicated that Samantha has quote “issues with males”.

Arriving on scene was Detective Kelli Coughlin from the Lakeville police, who previously responded to an incident where Rucki swore and threatened a member of ex wife, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s family. The previous police report shows Rucki’s propensity towards violence, and the very real fear other people have of him. It also shows that Coughlin had knowledge of Rucki’s abuse violent behavior towards his family, and when the Lakeville P.D. pushed to return to the Rucki girls to a home they felt was unsafe, the Lakeville P.D. did so with full knowledge of the case, including abuse allegations.

The police report indicates the victim is fearful for his family and feels Rucki will follow through on his threats that include “I‘m coming after you and you won’t see me coming” and “It probably won’t be me (that will get you).” At the time of the incident, Sandra’s mother died the night before after an agonizing battle with cancer. While the family was still grieving Rucki fought to gain control of the family trust, and threatened and intimidated family members to stake a claim on something that was not legally or rightfully his. Rucki Police Report

Samantha and Gianna were assigned a social worker and also given a lawyer, both argued in court on behalf of the sisters that they their father and did not want to be placed in his care. The sisters stated they would attend therapy and not attempt to run away again if they were able to stay in foster care. Judge Michael Mayer of Dakota County denied the request, the sisters were sent to reunification therapy in rural California and then were placed backed into the custody of David Rucki, father, against their will.