Fighting B.A.C.K with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Courageous Mother

Washington Irving quote. Public Domain: http://wallpapersin4k.net

Listen Online:Fighting B.A.C.K. with Courageous Mother

Original Air Date: Monday, June 19, 2017

On this episode of Fighting B.A.C.K. with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, courageous mother JF, shares her story of surviving an abusive relationship only to be battered through the family court system where she lost custody of her infant son to an abuser in a temporary order that continues to this day.

The State of Maryland later issued felony child abduction charges against JF for  efforts to protect her son after his father had bruised and battered him during a two day weekend stay. On May 24, 2017, after a three day jury trial, eight woman and four men briefly deliberated and returned a unanimous not guilty verdict. Despite this, the child has not been returned and remains in the custody of a dangerous abuser.

JF was the primary caregiver when she was forcibly separated from her son, age 15 months, due to an unjust court order that has denied any and all access for visitation for over 8 long months, and counting. Sadly, the fight for her child’s freedom, and safety, continues to be an unbelievable struggle in the Howard County Circuit Court, where a custody hearing will be held this August.

Tune in to Fighting B.A.C.K. to hear JF share her story.

Other topics discussed include: protecting children from abuse, family court failures and updates from Sandra on her story, and her case.

Fighting B.A.C.K. with Courageous Mother

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(Repost) Congressional Testimony: Caroline Marie Rice to Bill Windsor of Lawless America

Congressional Testimony: Caroline Marie Rice to Bill Windsor of Lawless America.

“Our family was torn apart by violence, now it’s being torn apart by lies, I am so sorry for my children. I’m sorry I stayed too long. I don’t know what will happen next.. but I will stand for the truth.

Thank you Caroline for bravely sharing your story… you do not fight alone.

Lawless America is a documentary film that is exposing government corruption, judicial corruption, and law enforcement corruption.

For more information, see Lawless America

Lawless America YouTube

Published: November 25, 2012

Birthday Blow Up: David Rucki Chased Terrified Teens Down Street

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

Judge Karen Asphaug “Encouraged Lawlessness” Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Turns Herself in After Warrant Issued

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November 2, 2016, Washington County, Minnesota:

Dakota County issued an arrest warrant against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, in connection with an alleged probation violation for failing to maintain contact with the probation officer. Sandra voluntarily turned herself in tonight after discovering a warrant had been issued, and is now in custody.

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These sad events happened on the birthday of Sandra’s daughter, a subject of this criminal case who ran away in April 2013 from an unsafe home. The daughter has been unable to see or contact her mother in any way. – A mother who once was her primary caregiver, and whom she wanted to live with before the Courts condemned her to live with an abuser. The daughter wrote a letter stating the reason why she ran away, that included, “We fought back, begging them not to put us in the care of Tammy that we were afraid for our lives, and told them that Tammy and my father had abused us. But they didn’t care.” Another of the Rucki children also reported that Tammy abused her to the Lakeville police, who failed to make a mandatory report. Judge Karen Asphaug, and ADA Kathryn Keena are now claiming Tammy Love and David Rucki are “victims” to the detriment of the children – who are the REAL victims in this case.

The outrageous legal antics of Judge Karen Asphaug instigated these recent developments, in what can only be described as a circus – a waste of precious law enforcement resources, at tremendous expense to the tax payers of Dakota County. Many in the judicial system outside of Dakota County have expressed shock at how the Grazzini-Rucki case has been mishandled, and expressed concern over the amount of power a judge can exert over people’s lives, and how easily that power can be abused.

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Dakota County Circus

Under Minnesota law, the maximum time allowed under sentencing guidelines for felony deprivation of parental rights is up to 1 year and 1 day in prison. Sandra stepped forward, asked to finish her sentence in prison, and complete her sentence so she can then return to her home, out of state. All avenues kids to see or maintain contact with her children have been blocked, so that is not an option for Sandra.

Supporters of David Rucki demanded that Sandra be sent to prison, multiple comments posted online demanded prison. However, during sentencing, Judge Karen Asphaug issued an unusual sentence that involves a lengthy probation period of 6 years with yearly stints in jail, in addition a yearly requirement of sentence to serve, excessive monetary fines, compliance with all 3,400 family court orders issued by Judge David L Knutson and additional conditions that are impossible to afford financially or not humanly possible to comply with.  Judge Asphaug implemented this unusual sentencing after ADA Kathryn Keena asked for an aggravated sentence but was not allowed to inflict a harsher sentence, than the law allowed, because the nature of the crime did not meet guidelines. Sandra immediately asked to execute her sentence, as this was the only feasible option, and later was given a hearing.

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

The cost to tax payers to for the cost to jail Sandra, and enforce a lengthy probation is astronomical. According to a recent study, “...The average annual income of every Minnesota resident is roughly equal to the average annual cost per inmate in our prison system.”  Average Annual Cost of Minnesota Prisons: $41,364 Per Inmate in 2010 by Jay Carey

The expenses incurred on Sandra alone could easily double that figure, and would be better spent elsewhere in the criminal justice system. Sandra Grazzini-Rucki poses no danger to society, and is willing to do her time in prison and complete her sentence. The only obstacle to a resolution in this case is Judge Asphaug, who insists on a punishment that is both cruel and unusual.

If Sandra were to be jailed in the Ramsey County Workhouse, the cost is paid for by the tax payers of Dakota County. The cost to house an inmate in the Workhouse is an estimated $70 per day, already Sandra has served 170 days there – so far Dakota County spent close to $12,000 to incarcerate her. If Judge Karen Asphaug sends Sandra back to the Workhouse she could waste up to $17,000+ of Dakota County tax payer’s money. However, if Sandra were allowed to execute,and were sent to prison the cost wound be reimbursed through federal funding, and the case would be quickly resolved. All of these extraordinary measures are directed toward a non-violent offender who poses no risk to the community. Sandra’s only “crime” is protecting her children from abuse after multiple levels of the system (family court, police, court ordered therapy, CPS, juvenile court/CHIPS petition etc.) ignored the Rucki children’s cries for help.

The family court system, led by Judge Knutson, used force and intimidation to order the Rucki children into the custody of the abusive father, who they feared.  The abuse that happened is effectively being covered up. 

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Sandra’s former criminal attorney, Stephen Grigsby, previously argued for an executed sentence during the September 21st hearing– meaning Sandra would serve her entire sentence in jail. Grigsby stated to the court, that refusing her this right would “encourage lawlessness” and “dare” Sandra to violate probation.

The defendant in the above-entitled matter hereby moves the Court to execute her sentence.

ARGUMENT

Not withstanding the provisions of 609.135, subd. 7, which purports to deny the defendant the right to execute a sentence, the right inheres in the basic ability of a defendant to demand, either by a formal demand or a deliberate violation of probation.

The latter (violation of probation) encourages lawlessness and wastes time and resources.

Eventually a probationer can assure the execution of a sentence by refusing to comply with probation and it therefore makes no sense to dare her to do so when there is a desire to refuse to comply with probation and serve her executed sentence.”

Attorney Stephen Grigsby, Motion to Execute (Sandra Grazzini-Rucki), 9/21/2016

During the hearing, Judge Asphaug waltzed into court, waving a paper to show that she had found a case that would justify her reasons to refuse prison. She promptly imposed probation on Sandra.The case cited did not match any of the circumstances in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial. Judge Asphaug then denied the motion to execute her sentence. Grigsby responded, “This was really an irrational act by the court.”

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Judge Karen Asphaug

If Sandra had been allowed to execute her sentence, she would serve up to 8 months in prison, and then be released having completed her sentence. Isn’t that the purpose of the criminal justice system? Have a defendant serve their time, and return to society as a law abiding citizen? What Judge Asphaug is doing is NOT promoting justice.

After sentencing, Sandra was immediately taken into custody, and served an additional 34 days in the Workhouse then was released into probation on October 24th. Allegations of a probation violation followed soon after.

Sandra’s criminal conviction resulted after Sandra courageously fought to protect her children from abuse. When the courts, CPS, and police failed to protect them, two of the oldest Rucki girls ran away. Sandra’s role in assisting her teen daughters is not an act of a criminal – but is the actions of a mother who “reasonably believed the action taken was necessary to protect the person taking the action from physical or sexual assault” and raised this affirmative defense during her criminal trial. Minn. Statute 609.26 – Includes Affirmative Defense Judge Asphaug suppressed 75% of defense evidence, blocking Sandra from presenting the affirmative defense to the jury, that would prove abuse did occur.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is not a hardened criminal, not a danger to society or to anyone else. Just the opposite – Sandra is a loving mother of 5 children, was an active volunteer at school events and PTA, was an enthusiastic community volunteer (working on projects throughout the state of Minnesota) who was always willing to help others with a generous and sincere heart, former Mrs. Lakeville and a respected flight attendant of 30+ years with a spotless record.

Sandra’s life has been completely destroyed after seeking a divorce from a wealthy, well-connected abuser, David Rucki, who has misused the court system to further abuse her, and exact revenge. Everything Sandra loved, everything that was important to her life, has been brutally taken from her – her children, her extended family, her home, all of her belongings (even her clothing and toiletries taken by court order), her financial stability, her career – and now her freedom. This all started with a divorce, in which a victim of domestic violence asked for protection for herself and her children but instead was re-abused by the system that favored, and enabled the perpetrator, who continues to abuse through the legal system. 

Sandra, is well-loved and respected in the community, she does not deserve the harsh punishment meted out by Judge Asphaug and Dakota County. Sandra is not a criminal. She an abuse survivor who was pushed into making a heart-breaking decision after the court system and legal system failed to protect her children…the system continues to fail the Grazzini-Rucki family today.

 

Also Read:

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is sentenced in domestic case by Michael Volpe

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Sentenced After Judge Asphaug Disallows Nearly All of Defense Evidence

Minnesota mom chooses prison for hiding 2 teen daughters

Keena Drops Aggravated Sentence Against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

 

 

David Rucki is Not a “Victim” – He is an Abuser (Commentary)

We’d lock ourselves in the bedroom because we’re scared. We just didn’t know how his behavior was going to be from one day to the next.” Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, ABC 20/20

Children report abuse and neglect/domestic violence by father...” CPS screened out maltreatment report, 10/28/2011

Why is the State of Minnesota and the media covering up the abuse of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and children at the hands of David Rucki? Media portrayals of the Grazzini-Rucki case have sensationalized this tragic case at the expense of the children; and embraced the identified abuser David Rucki, and his co-abuser sister, Tammy Jo Love, as “victims”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The true victims are the five Rucki children.

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David Rucki is not a “victim” – he is an abuser. Domestic violence does not simply end when the victim leaves the relationship but will continue in the attitude and actions of the abuser, and the tactics they use to gain power and control. Abusers will manipulate the legal system and triangulate people/professionals in order to intimidate, control and further abuse the victim from afar. This is what is happening in the Grazzini-Rucki case.

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When the Rucki children bravely spoke up to disclose abuse and expressed fear of their father, every level of the system that should have protected them – CPS, family court, police, therapist, GAL etc – not only failed but enabled the abuse to continue. Numerous reports of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse have been documented. Numerous police reports and CPS reports have been filed. Numerous OFP violations, with a CPS report filed after one violation. The Rucki children came forward with their own statements, in their own words – writing letters, speaking to Judge Knutson, and many others about the abuse, stating they are afraid of their father, David Rucki. The Rucki children displayed behavioral and emotional symptoms consistent with abuse, witnessed by multiple people who have interacted with them. In fact, when Rucki was awarded sole custody of the children, he was on probation for a domestic violence charge with an OFP violation. Further, a social worker appointed to the care of the runaway Rucki girls in November 2015 determined that in her professional opinion abuse did occur, there is a real safety concern, and the Rucki girls needed to be protected from their father. Instead of being protected, the Rucki child were court ordered to live in abuse; and now Dakota County is covering up the abuse to hide their own failures.

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David Rucki’s history demonstrates a propensity towards violence. Repeated attempts to address his behaviors (that included anger management, probation, and reunification therapy) have all failed.To claim that Rucki – who has terrorized his family and the community- is a “victim” is outrageous and a slap in the face to victims of domestic violence, and abuse, everywhere.

David Rucki

David Rucki

Consider this – a small sample of documentation showing that David Rucki is an abuser NOT a “victim” :

12/3/1994: David Rucki instigates a violent bar fight, and had to be hauled away by police after he refused to leave. The police report notes, “Def started to argue and swear and at one time threatened to get tough with employees…Def swore and hollered at officers all the way to the jail.” https://www.scribd.com/doc/310795988/filename-1-1-pdf

2/27/2011: Neighbors install security cameras on their home because of David Rucki. Rucki tells police the neighbors are “pricks” and police reports notes, “David seemed agitated and displeased with officers during the entire encounter.” https://www.scribd.com/doc/310801970/11000672-Report

6/20/2011: “This letter is to validate that my family has heard David Victor Rucki of 19675 Ireland Place, Lakeville, MN yelling at and cursing my family, police officers and also his own wife and children… In our near decade of living next to him I have found him to be a very angry individual who rages at anyone who has contention or confronts him.” The letter goes on to say,”As police reports can verify, he has boldly cursed profanely at, and tried to strongly intimidate, Lakeville’s female animal control officer. It is logical to conclude he is capable of more towards those more vulnerable, such as his wife and children.” – Statement from a Neighbor Semantigans (Red Herring Alert)

I am asking the Court for this additional relief to clarify and extend the Order (the existing OFP) to keep the children and I safe. David has already plead guilty to violating the Order, and has engaged in criminal conduct that may well result in another criminal charge for an additional violation. He believes he is above the law and no one can stop him. I am pleading for the Court to send a strong message that this behavior has to stop, and that the Order for Protection has meaning and should be taken seriously.” – Amended Petition for Order for Protection, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, November 2011

I would work with Mr. Rucki to have him present a certain structure and accounting of his own behavior while the family was intact that would acknowledge the volatile family history and express his empathy for the children’s painful memories.Letter from Dr. James Gilbertson to GAL Julie Friedrich about Rucki children, Feb 6, 2013

6/12/2014: David Rucki’s road rage incident – resulting in criminal charges. Rucki was on probation for this incident when his two eldest daughters, who had ran away from his abuse in April 2013, were returned to his care. The victim says Rucki came after him and punched him once, knocking him to his knees. He said Rucki punched him 2 or 3 more times then casually walked away. The victim sustained significant injuries to his face and had to be hospitalized. https://www.scribd.com/doc/310792136/14002058-Report

Social worker reports, “G.R. was interviewed on 11/23/2015. She reports that dad was always screaming at mom. Neighbors called their home the ‘Scream House’.” G.R. describes abuse at the hands of her father, David Rucki, and states that she is not being influenced by her mother. She also states she would consider a relationship with her father in the future, when she is ready and has a choice. https://www.scribd.com/doc/316692570/SamiRucki

5/23/2016: “This is a case where there is no factual dispute. The Dahlens allowed the two Rucki girls to stay at their ranch because the girls, as they have stated numerous times prior to arriving and after leaving the ranch, did not want to return to their father’s home out of extreme fear of abuse…We have an entire church community that are willing to come down from Herman, Minnesota to confirm and testify that the Dahlens allowed the Rucki girls to stay there based on their reasonable belief that those girls would suffer physical, sexual or substantial emotional abuse if they returned to their father.Dahlen Investigative Report

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was convicted after 75% of defense evidence was withheld by Judge Karen Asphaug. Suppression of defense evidence made it impossible for Sandra to prove the affirmative defense claim she raised, and effectively forced the jury to find her guilty.

“It is an affirmative defense if a person charged under subdivision 1 proves that:

(1) the person reasonably believed the action taken was necessary to protect the child from physical or sexual assault or substantial emotional harm..609.26 DEPRIVING ANOTHER OF CUSTODIAL OR PARENTAL RIGHTS

The truth will set you free, but in the case of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki (and now Dede Evavold), suppression of truth resulted in a felony conviction, and jail.

 

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Sentenced – Kathryn Keena Breaks Promise to Runaway Teen

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Sept. 21, 2016 – Sandra Grazzini-Rucki prepared this statement to be read by her family law attorney after sentencing.

Sept. 21, 2016, Dakota County, Minnesota: A sign posted outside the courthouse by a religious group read. “When will the suffering end?

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was sentenced today for her role in assisting her teenage daughters, who ran away from their paternal aunt, and the influence of their abusive father, in April 2013. A jury found Sandra guilty of 6 charges of felony deprivation of parental rights after Judge Karen Asphaug suppressed 75% of defense evidence. Sandra raised the affirmative defense, meaning her actions were taken to protect her children from imminent harm. The evidence suppressed supported claims of abuse. Other evidence was withheld from Sandra and her attorney by the State. Many claim this was a “rigged trial”.

Prosecuting Attorney Kathryn M. Keena sought an aggravated sentence against Sandra, which meant she would be given a much harsher sentence than what guidelines allow. Aggravated sentences are usually reserved for severe crimes like deviant sexual crimes, terrorism and repeat offenders. Keena had to drop her motion for aggravated sentencing because the charges did not meet the legal standards. Sandra has no prior criminal history and has complied with all the terms of her release while out on bond. She also has credit for 133 days spent in jail. Keena Drops Aggravated Sentence

Judge Karen J Asphaug

Judge Karen J Asphaug

However, Judge Asphaug found a way to manipulate the legal system in order to give Sandra a much harsher sentence. The sentence includes 6 years of probation, double the usual sentence – Judge Asphaug ruled that paternal aunt Tammy Love is also a “victim” in this crime. In addition, Judge Asphaug stretched out the sentence over 6 years to include a 15 day sentence every year, commencing on November 19th when the runaway Rucki girls were found. Guidelines say the most time a defendant can serve for what Sandra is charged with is one year and one day but Judge Asphaug found a way to lengthen the sentence for 6 years. Taxpayers will bear the financial burden of this unnecessary expense; and a bed in jail will be taken by Sandra who poses no risk to society, while a more serious offender is denied what they deserve.

Judge Asphaug also ruled that Sandra must pay several heavy fines. The law states that if the fines are not paid the judge can order additional penalty, which may include jail time. The fines include: $10,000 restitution to the Crime Board to cover costs for reunification therapy with an abusive father (reunification therapy is controversial, and not widely approved of by psychologists), undetermined costs to pay for therapy for the children, and two $944 dollar fines plus $80 court fees. Not to mention the costs for probation. Court records indicate that Sandra is currently receiving state aid, she was formerly employed as a flight attendant until jailed and extradited to Minnesota. With 6 felonies on her record, Sandra will certainly have difficulty finding employment, and have difficulty maintaining employment if forced to go to jail for 15 days every year plus other restrictions imposed by the terms of release. That being said, it would be very unlikely that Sandra could afford the fines, which may result in further jail time beyond her sentence. Judge Asphaug also ordered Sandra to sentence to serve, and if she does not comply, she would face additional jail time beyond her sentence. In effect, an aggravated sentence was imposed on Sandra by Judge Asphaug and Prosecutor Keena, who found a way to manipulate the legal system to exact a punishment that goes well beyond the guidelines for this crime.

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

Kathryn Keena admitted in court that she “made a promise” to S. Rucki and said to the teen that she “will not request any additional jail time and will keep that request”.  Judge Asphaug interrupted and said the “Court did not engage in promises” and she is “learning of it for the first time today“.  Making a “promise” with a vulnerable, traumatized teen is unethical and an abuse of power. It also gives the appearance that Keen bribed S. Rucki to testify – meaning she told S. Rucki that if you testify against your mother, I “promise” not to seek any additional jail time for her. Kathryn Keena unapologetically broke her promise to S. Rucki today. Keena has taken her place in the long line of Dakota County court officials who have violated the trust, and exploited the Rucki children.

Another interesting moment at sentencing was the lengthy “victim impact” statement read by David Rucki that included, “the woman in court today is not the woman I married 25 years ago – the woman I married suddenly became who she is now, a convicted felon“. Rucki elaborated about the pain he experienced in the 944 days his teen daughters went missing.

The police reports, CPS reports, witness statements, need for repeated reunification therapy because the children showed signs of fear towards Rucki (and raised abuse allegations) and even a letter from Dr. Gilbertson to the Court all illustrate the pain, terror and abuse Rucki inflicted on Sandra and the children. To believe that Sandra alienated not only her children but alienated so many people to turn against David Rucki is not only improbable but ridiculous.

When David is talking about his pain, and eliciting public sympathy, consider this…

G was interviewed on 11/23/15. She reports dad was always screaming at mom. Neighbors called the house the ‘Scream House’. She thought her home situation was normal as she didn’t know any different… Her dad would stalk the house when they were with mom.  He showed anger like ‘I’m gonna kill you’. She got no hugs growing up…”   Rucki CPS Reports

There are two prevailing emotional themes that these children speak to: One is fear of being in the presence of their father  given what they allege to he being an angry and violent person. A second theme is anger over his alleged mistreatment...It is my opinion that the children’s fear issue needs to be addressed directly, and that can happen when there is exposure to the specifically feared object, situation, or person, i.e.  father…

I would work with Mr. Rucki to have him present a certain structure and accounting of his own behavior while the family was intact that would acknowledge the volatile family history and express his empathy for the children’s painful memories..” Dr. Gilbertson Letter to GAL Julie Friedrich – Feb. 6, 2013

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

Q (Kelli Coughlin): So how has it been since you’ve been back home?

A. (S. Rucki) I work 40 hours a week.

Q. Ok

A. Otherwise I am in my room or I am out.

Q. Do you feel secluded?

A. I am going to move out as soon as I can start driving and get money saved up. I can’t be around this anymore.” Kelli Coughlin, Lakeville PD, interview with S. Rucki

Dakota County and the State of Minnesota has not only sentenced Sandra but their ruling has condemned every abused woman, and every abused child in family court. A clear message is being sent – if you talk about abuse, you will not be believed and you may lose custody, lose your home, lose your career and your freedom. This tragedy could have been prevented had Judge Knutson and the family court system appropriately responded to the concerns of abuse, and intervened early on. Instead the court’s actions enabled abuse to continue to the point where the home was so unsafe that 4 out of 5 children threatened to run away and two succeeded in running away. 

After sentencing, attorney Michelle MacDonald (Sandra’s family law attorney) read a statement that Sandra had prepared ahead of time. The statement said, in part, “For the last 5 years, I have had to endure the loss of my children (all 5 are named). They alone are my world…And now I’m paying the price for what any parent would do for their children – protect them from harm.”

Sandra is now in custody; ironically it is only behind bars that she is truly safe from David Rucki. Sandra is expected to appeal.

Dakota County Judicial Center

Dakota County Judicial Center

Shocking Interview from Grazzini-Rucki Case – Brodkorb Goes Rogue, Dronen Wants to Make Rucki Girls Wards of the State, More…

I honestly believe Judge Knutson is psychotic, that I have no doubt. I’ve sat in his courtroom, the guy is absolutely crazy. I believe there needs to be a lot of changes in family court as well….

If David Rucki is as crazy as these Girls say he is, then I don’t know what he is capable of...” ~ Lori Musolf, prosecution witness

Lawless Lakeville, Dakota County, Minn:  Lion News has released a shocking audio of the Lakeville police interview between Detective Dronen and Lori Musolf, witness for the Prosecution in the Grazzini-Rucki case. This interview covers a variety of subjects including abuse allegations, family court failures, and interference in the investigation of the runaway Rucki girls by Michael Brodkorb.

During the interview Detective Dronen admits that confidential information about the open investigation into the disappearance of the Rucki girls had been obtained by Brodkorb. Dronen was concerned because Brodkorb was contacting witnesses without the knowledge or consent of the Lakeville police, who were handling the investigation. Lakeville’s investigation into the missing Rucki girls became contaminated as Brodkorb contacted witnesses before the police could secure the information and then leaked sensitive details in his articles, which were widely distributed. 

musolf2

Additional testimony from Doug Dahlen reveals that the Star Tribune reporters, Brandon Stahl and Michael Brodkorb, knew ahead of time that police would raid the ranch to take the Girls. Dahlen states that reporters from the Star Tribune were calling the Grant County Courthouse a day ahead of time, and were asking when a warrant would be served.  This leak of information, and the inappropriate involvement of the Star Tribune has created an unsafe environment for the Rucki girls, whose safety and well-being came second to the media sensation their “recovery” would generate.

Doug and Gina Dahlen cared for the runaway Rucki sisters, who refused to return to father David Rucki because he abused them. Source, ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/US/minnesota-sisters-missing-years-lived-plain-sight-time/story?id=38190862

Doug and Gina Dahlen cared for the runaway Rucki sisters, who refused to return to father David Rucki because he abused them. Source, ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/US/minnesota-sisters-missing-years-lived-plain-sight-time/story?id=38190862

Ironically, Brodkorb blasted all the adults who “did nothing” while the Rucki girls were missing – and now he qualifies as one of those adults, seeing that he had knowledge of where the Girls were staying for at least 24 hours and did nothing to notify local police or intervene. This happening while Brodkorb admits father, David Rucki, was an emotional wreck over the disappearance of his daughters. So Brodkorb also lied to Rucki and did not disclose to him that he knew where the Girls were, and let him suffer. All of this so Brodkorb could break the the story that would make his comeback after an adulterous affair, and a drinking problem destroyed his political career and nearly ended his life.

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Also in the interview, Musolf discloses that Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was afraid of ex-husband David Rucki, and specifically stated “she acted like she was terrified of this man” and “she thought he would kill her if he had the chance. Musolf comments that Sandra used burner phones because she was afraid Rucki would track her down (a tracking device was placed in the wheel well of a friend’s vehicle. Police traced that device back to Rucki’s house). The behaviors Musolf describe in Sandra are common in women who have suffered abuse. In the criminal trial, it was portrayed that Sandra used burner phones to avoid arrest for the disappearance of her daughters. Evidence suggests otherwise, yet Prosecuting Attorney Kathryn M. Keena  promotes a lie. This is prosecutorial misconduct.

Musolf candidly expressed fear of Rucki and stated she “did not trust David Rucki” and was concerned that he would harm her because she assisted his daughters in running away, and was a friend of Sandra. This is coming from a prosecution witness who testified against Sandra, yet is also building her case. Sandra plead the affirmative defense in charges that she hid her daughters from Rucki, meaning she took action to protect her children from imminent harm or abuse. Sandra was found guilty of felony deprivation of parental rights; critics argue she could not prove abuse happened yet evidence that abuse did happen continues to mount even after Sandra’s conviction.

David Rucki

David Rucki

In a bizarre twist. Musolf tells Detective Dronen that she believes that the Rucki girls have “alot of psychological” and should not be placed with either parent when they are found. What is so unbelievable is that Musolf is a self-proclaimed victim advocate. Musolf’s attitude and actions could pose a risk of harm to an abuse victim or other vulnerable person because she shows no understanding about abuse, and its effects on children. Also troubling is that Musolf is basically stating that Sandra, the victim, has said or done something that is comparable to the horrific abuse Rucki inflicted on his family. NO victim of abuse could ever do anything to justify the abuse inflicted on them. If a so-called “advocate” does not understand that, what is she really advocating for? Detective Dronen agrees with Musolf, and says he thinks the Rucki girls should become wards of the state to get the help they need. 

Wards of the state? The “help” the county offered has done nothing but bring pain and upheaval to the Grazzini-Rucki family. How much more damage will Dakota County inflict on Sandra and her children? .

Help raise awareness, and fight for a worthy cause – please comment, like, repost and share.

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

 

Note: Musolf is the only person who has not been criminally charged for her role in assisting the runaway Rucki girls. Musolf remained in contact with the Rucki girls in the days after they ran away and arranged their interview with Fox 9. During the Fox 9 interview, both Girls disclosed allegations of abuse committed by their father and expressed fear of him. Musolf was listed as a witness for the Prosecution in the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial but did not testify in court.

Special thanks to Lion News for posting this video 🙂