Media Blackout in Grazzini-Rucki Case – AP Overlooks History of Abuse in Coverage of Criminal Appeal

(Dakota County, Minnesota: 11/6/2017) Don’t let the media blackout leave you in the dark…read here information and documentation of abuse and court failures in the Grazzini-Rucki case suppressed by mainstream media.  

Recent coverage of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal appeal by the Associated Press gained nationwide attention in a report that was sanitized, and omitted crucial information (much of this information is publicly available, and posted online) including:

*the history of domestic abuse in the Rucki family

*abuse the Rucki children suffered at the hands of their father, David Rucki Rucki social service records

Family Crisis Main Reason Children Run Away

*David Rucki’s long history of violent and criminal acts druckipolicereports

*the failures of Judge David L. Knutson, and the Dakota County family court to protect the five Rucki children from abuse The court created horror of the five Rucki children

*Judge David L. Knutson’s response when abuse allegations were raised was NOT to protect the Rucki children but to force them into a relationship with the abuser, David Rucki. The“deprogramming” and “reunification therapy” ordered by Judge Knutson further traumatized the children Letter by S.R. 2013

ALL of which created a crisis that caused the two Rucki teens S.R. and G.R. to run away back in April 2013, and led to subsequent criminal charges against mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, for her role in assisting the girls.

Never once does the AP mention that S.R. and G.R. spoke out on numerous occasions, stating the reason why they ran away on April 13, 2013, was because of the abuse they suffered from their father, and because of the court’s actions against them.

Never once does the AP mention that Sandra raised the affirmative defense during her criminal trial, and that by law if she could prove her actions were taken to protect her children from imminent harm, they would be not considered criminal. Only after Judge Karen Asphaug suppressed 75% of defense evidence, did it become impossible for Sandra to prove the affirmative defense… meaning the jury convicted Sandra after being deprived of the facts (an issue also raised on appeal).  Dakota County disallows nearly all Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s evidence and only then is she convicted

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

Instead, what you see from the AP report is a cherry picking of the facts that leaves readers in a very similar situation as the jury faced in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial.. left to make conclusions about Sandra, and this case, without having all of the information or facts available. This is very dangerous considering.. In a criminal case, this can lead to the innocent being found guilty. When incomplete or misleading information is presented as factual news, it creates propaganda. And the children at the heart of this case still remain unprotected.

The Criminal Appeal: Conviction Upheld

The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the criminal conviction of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, found guilty of 6 counts of felony deprivation of custodial rights, for her role in assisting her two teenage daughters S.R. and G.R. who ran away in April 2013 after the family court failed to protect them from abuse.

The girls remained in hiding for 2 years, living on a therapeutic horse ranch. When given opportunities to return to the care of their father, S.R. and G.R. refused, citing fear for their safety. Witnesses who interacted with the girls during this time confirmed that their behaviors were consistent with abuse, and both appeared highly fearful – especially at the mention of their father. Multiple Witness Reports: Rucki Sisters Fearful of Father, Felt Safe at Ranch

Family court records reveal that S.R..and G.R. raised allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse throughout proceedings. Not only was Judge David L. Knutson aware of the abuse, but after personally speaking to the Rucki children in chambers, he sealed the proceedings to suppress the abuse allegations they raised. Judge Knutson refused to take action to protect S.R. and G.R., or any of the other Rucki children, and called them “liars” and accused them of being “brainwashed”. S.R. criticized Judge Knutson in a June 2016 interview with police saying, “I’m not a fan of Judge Knutson, I don’t want to hear about that guy, he’s a dick. Honestly, he made such bad decisions… The decisions made by whoever in the court were so horrendous that they shouldn’t even be allowed to do it anymore. You can’t make a mistake like this, and ruin people’s lives, and think it’s ok..” Pressured, Threatened S. Rucki Bravely Speaks Out Against “Horrendous” Family Court

Judge David L Knutson (Source: Twitter)

Sandra made every legal effort to protect her children – fighting all the way to the Supreme Court – to no avail. Sandra encountered a new abuser in the court system – in judges David L. Knutson and Karen Asphaug who sympathize with, and enable, her violent ex-husband, David Rucki, in his continued legal assaults against her. As a result, Sandra is now homeless, destitute and forcibly separated from the children she loves. For the Rucki children, who have been court ordered to live with an abuser, their future remains uncertain.

The Criminal Appeal: Sentencing Overturned

The Appellate Court upheld the conviction but did find error in the actions of Judge Asphaug during sentencing. The Appellate Court ruled that Judge Karen Asphaug erred when ordering Sandra to annual stints of sentence-to-serve as well as serving yearly jail time on the anniversary that S.R. and G.R. were found, lasting until the year 2022. Judge Asphaug also ordered that Sandra would not be eligible for early release from probation. If fully imposed, the sentence ordered by Judge Asphaug would far exceed the maximum jail time allowed under sentencing guidelines.

After sentencing, Sandra petitioned the court to execute her sentence – meaning serve all of her time at once but was denied by Judge Asphaug.

In a November 2016 court hearing, Prosecutor Kathryn Keena and a Dakota County probation officer also recommended that Sandra be allowed to execute her sentence. Again, Judge Asphaug refused and in an unusual move, dismissed the probation officer from Sandra’s case.

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

The Appellate decision will now allow Sandra to execute her sentence, and with time served she could face up to 42 days in jail as the remainder of her sentence.

David Rucki, who caused real harm to Sandra and the children, remains unpunished; largely due to the protection he has received from the Dakota County judges.

Public Domain Image: Pixaby

 

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Letter in Support of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki: I Feel the Threat of Injustice, and Demand an Explanation…

Public Domain: goodfon.com

A letter in support of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, sent as part of the campaign initiated by J.A.M.

Learn More On How You Can Help Here,with Tips in How to Write Your Own Letter: A Call to Action: You Can Help Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Fight for Justice

Share your thoughts in the comments!

________________

Subject: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Family Court, Child Support, Criminal and Appellate Cases

Date:

Dear

I am writing to express my deep concerns with the ongoing Grazzini-Rucki case, which has exposed significant violations of state law, violations of Constitutional rights against Sandra, who has been so extremely targeted that she is now destitute and homeless. The rampant corruption in this case is mind-blowing but must not be ignored. 

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…As a citizen I feel this threat of injustice, and demand an explanation as to how the vindictive, vicious actions against Sandra can be justified in the name of laws that have been broken against her back? How can those entrusted to protect the welfare of children, justify actions that have directly placed the lives of the five Rucki children in danger and allowed David Rucki, the identified perpetrator of abuse to not only gain sole custody but worker to also ban a fit, loving mother from having any contact with her children… for the rest of their lives. The system continues to protect the very judges and officials who break the laws, and break families! I now this is true because there is absolutely no accountability in the Grazzini-Rucki case.. even as these court orders, and rulings, defy all logic and serve only to perpetuate injustice.

Background Grazzini-Rucki Case

For your reference, here is a brief background – the Grazzini-Rucki case began in Dakota County in 2011 when Sandra, a victim of domestic violence, sought a divorce from David Rucki, a wealthy and well connected abuser. Rucki’s lengthy criminal record, in addition to numerous protective orders filed against him, and the documentation of abuse against Sandra and her five children clearly show Rucki’s propensity to violence, and the rage he inflicted upon his family (see some of the documentation: druckipolicereports)

Sandra encountered a nightmare in family court, under the jurisdiction of Judge David L. Knutson, that resulted in her being forcibly removed from her home by police escort on September 7th, 2012, never to return. She lost her five children and all property, possessions, and tragically, her guaranteed freedoms as an American citizen. As a result of proceedings, Sandra was court ordered into a “lifetime of servitude,” stripped of her children, her home, her employment, and her freedom—always plagued by the control of her abuser who has promised to“see her dead.”

Judge Knutson has never been held accountable for his reprehensible actions against Sandra, the Rucki children and her family law attorney, Michelle MacDonald, that have enabled the abuse to continue and punished Sandra for efforts to protect her children from physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Judge Knutson now sits on the Board of Judicial Standards, securing a seat on the organization responsible for investigating and taking action against corrupt judges like himself. Justice has been effectively denied.

Judge Knutson has recently retaliated against attorney Michelle MacDonald and sought sanctions against her, and removal of her law license, falsely accusing MacDonald of failure to properly represent her client, Sandra.. when in truth, the actions of Judge Knutson alone are responsible for the great harm done to her. During the Grazzini-Rucki custody trial, Judge Knutson instructed Sandra to leave the courtroom in the midst of  trial and then ordered Mrs. MacDonald to proceed without her client, and while handcuffed and strapped to a wheelchair. By Judge Knutson’s order, Mrs. MacDonald was held in jail for over 24 hours without ever being charged, where she was subject to abusive and humiliating treatment from Judge Knutson’s bailiffs. (One of these bailiffs was later subject to a PREA complaint from Sandra after harassing her, and taking inappropriate photos of her when she was in the emergency room, handcuffed to a hospital bed, after suffering from a fractured skull that resulted from an unexplained incident in jail).

Source: Lion News

Judge Knutson is also responsible for ignoring abuse allegations raised by the Rucki children, and using court facilities to forcefully compel the frightened children to visit their father despite tears, and pleas for help. One of the children testified that she was even called a liar after speaking out about the abuse. In order to prevent escape, Judge Knutson ordered his bailiff to guard the door so the children had no way out… under these circumstances the Rucki children were terrorized by the very court that should have worked to protect them.

The Grazzini-Rucki case reached a crisis on April 19, 2013, when Sandra’s two teen daughters ran away after the court refused to protect them from abuse. The daughters lived on a therapeutic horse ranch for 2 1/2 years, in safety. They were discovered in November 2015 and despite raising abuse allegations, the daughters were given back into the care of their abusive father, David Rucki. Rucki was on probation for a violent offense when the girls were placed back into his care.

Legal action has been brought upon Sandra for aiding in their escape with resulting felony convictions for “parental deprivation,”. Under Minnesota law, if a person has reasonable belief that a child is in danger of physical or sexual assault, or substantial emotional harm, it is not a crime to take action an effort to protect a child.Yet Judge Karen Asphaug suppressed at least 80% of the information vital to her defense in a heavy-handed abuse of judicial power that worked to manipulate the jury into finding Sandra guilty. The conditions surrounding Sandra’s trial and sentencing meet the standard for cruel and unusual punishment.

Judge Karen J Asphaug

Sandra now lives in hiding, afraid for her safety due to the actions of a dangerous abuser bent on destroying her, and due to an out of control court system enabling him.

Sandra has also been involved in child support proceedings and despite being homeless and unemployed, has been ordered to pay Rucki – a millionaire who owns 4 homes and 9 cars – $975 per month in child support. Failure to pay this massive sum may result in Sandra being jailed. Rucki is also receiving public welfare and Dakota County has allowed him to receive assistance while admitting they exempted Rucki from the normal financial verifications all recipients are required to provide.

Under these unjust circumstances, I strongly denounce the attack upon Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s rights, and humanity, and the laws being broken to perpetrate these many abuses against her.

PLEASE RESPOND – Questions Regarding Handling of Grazzini-Rucki Case

I am asking for an explanation as to how such injustice can be excused, even when complaint and lawsuit are filed against Judge Knutson, the Guardian ad Litem, and other court officers (and quickly dismissed).

Just a few of my questions regarding this outrageous case of legal and judicial abuse:

How can you condone the continued abuse of the Rucki children perpetrated by not only their father, David Rucki, but also by the legal system? How do you respond when the system fails to protect its most vulnerable? Judge Knutson has set precedence in Dakota County that when children come forward with abuse allegations that it is acceptable, and even encouraged, to ignore and ridicule the victim.

In the face of serious allegations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, the Rucki children were forcibly “deprogrammed” and placed into experimental “reunification therapy” to force a relationship with the abusive father whom they feared. How is this in their “best interest”??

Where is the checks and balances in the judiciary? Why are so many judges allowed to hide behind immunity even in the face of clear evidence of wrongdoing? One example of many from the Grazzini-Rucki case… Judge Michael Mayer ignored the recommendations of a social worker who stated she believed the runaway Rucki sisters had been abused, and for their own protection requested they be placed in foster care with only supervised visits granted to Rucki. The teen girls were also represented by an attorney who begged to keep them in foster care for their own safety. Judge Mayer boldy stated that he knew the girls would not be happy with his decision when ordering them back into the custody of Rucki. The girls were then taken from the courtroom, under guard, and escorted onto an airplane for “reunification therapy” in a remote area of California, chosen because if the girls ran again they would have no place to go. The Rucki children have “reunited” with David Rucki but only under threats, intimidation and creation of Stockholm Syndrome. Is this the stance Minnesota supports on child abuse?

How is it permissible that Sandra, a homeless, unemployed woman with 6 felonies on her record, all facts in the record, be ordered to pay $975 per month to millionaire ex-husband, David Rucki, who is not required to provide any proof of his income when applying for and receiving welfare benefits?

How can you justify the millions of dollars spent on the Grazzini-Rucki case that has only created more chaos, and harm for Sandra and the children?

How can you justify the continued pursuit of Sandra through multiple legal actions, and the threat of jail hanging over her head, which is costing the tax payers not only huge sums of money but consuming massive amounts of resources and manpower? Sandra has no prior criminal record and is not a threat to anyone.. and yet she is being treated worse than serious offenders, even violent offenders, who have gone unpunished in comparison.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter. Sincerely and in full support of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki,

Name:

CC:

Brian4Justice@yahoo.com

CC:

Elizabeth Vargas-20/20 host elizabeth.a.vargas@abc.com

Sean Dooley- producer 20/20 sean.dooley@abc.com

Beth Mullen- 20.20 producer beth.a.mullen@abc.com

Beau Berentson, public affairs officer for the Minnesota Courts – beau.berentson@courts.state.mn.us

James Backstrom, Dakota County Prosecutor – attorney@co.dakota.mn.us,

Monica Jenson, public affairs officer for the Dakota County Prosecutor – monica.jensen@co.dakota.mn.us

Marybeth Schubert, public affair officer for Dakota County – marybeth.schubert@co.dakota.mn.us

Attorney General for Minnesota – attorney.general@ag.state.mn.us

Dave Oney, public affairs officer for the US Marshals Minnesota Court of Appeals (651) 296-2581 – dave.oney@usdoj.gov

 

 

Is Minnesota Safe with Judge David Knutson on the Bench? In Three High-Profile Cases, Showed Leniency to Dangerous Child Abusers

Judge David L Knutson

(Courtroom 2F, Dakota County Judicial Center, Minnesota) Judge David L. Knuston aka “Korrupt Knutson” presides over yet another controversial case – this time giving a drastic downward departure, meaning a sentence more lenient than recommended by guidelines, for an unlicensed daycare provider convicted of brutally assaulting, and nearly killing, a 13 month old boy.

Due to the severity of the injuries, the child was not expected to survive – today he is 2 years old and suffering from permanent brain damage.

Has justice been served? In two separate high-profile cases – the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki divorce/custody case and the criminal trial of child predator Dennis Roy – Judge Knutson showed leniency to a perpetrator of child abuse, and gave sympathy instead of prison.

A deeper look into all three of these cases suggests a pattern that Judge Knutson’s reckless disregard for the safety of children, and for public safety, has enabled dangerous abusers to avoid the punishment their heinous crimes warrant. Is the public safe with Judge Knutson on the bench?

#1 – The Merchant Case (2016/2017) : No Prison for Daycare Provider Who Nearly Killed a Toddler

Source: pinterest

Background: On September 22, 2016, parents Jessica and John Merchant say their child “WM” was in good health, and showed no sign of any problems, the day he was dropped off at the home of Mariel Alexandra Grimm. Grimm, a mother and unlicensed daycare provider, had been watching “WM” since he was 9 weeks old. Grimm says that after being dropped off at her home that day, “WM” was at a usual level of activity, and that he “he was playing on the floor with some toys and seemed fine…” The day started off like any other, then ended in tragedy.

Grimm was the only adult in the home the day “WM” suffered a near fatal brain injury. At the time, Grimm was caring for 5 five other children – four of her children who were being home-schooled, and another daycare child.

WM” was dropped off at 7:15 am; Grimm said she cuddled with “WM” and then laid him down in a pack n’ play. Grimm then went upstairs, and left “WM” alone, in the basement, to nap. At 8:47 am, Grimm heard “WM” crying and went to change his diaper, and brought him upstairs where he ate some cereal. After breakfast, Grimm brought “WM” back to the pack n’ play, and left him alone in the basement again so she could home-school her 4 children in the upstairs level of the home. In her statement to police, Grimm did not recall how long “WM” slept.

When “WM” woke again, Grimm went to change his diaper and noticed “WM” was stiff and unconscious. Grimm tried to rouse “WM” but he would not respond. Grimm then called Jessica Merchant who instructed her to call 911. The 911 call was made at 12:51 pm, an ambulance arrived soon after. When medics arrived, they found Grimm holding “WM” – who had a pulse but was breathing very shallow and was unresponsive. Medics noted that one of “WM”’s pupils was extremely dilated, and the other was not, a sign of head trauma. At the hospital, “WM” was diagnosed with a massive subdural hematoma (a build up of blood between the layers of tissue that cover the brain, a sign of severe trauma) and required emergency surgery.

Physicians treating “WM” stated that he would have become unresponsive immediately after or shortly after the head trauma occurred. The physicians also testified that type of trauma “WM” suffered is beyond what a toddler would experience if they had a normal fall or bump to the head, and the severity of the injury is consistent with being violently shaken or thrown. Meaning the greater force applied to the head, the more severe the damage to the brain and functioning will be. A severely injured infant would not be able to regulate any behavior requiring higher cortical functions, such as eating, sitting, playing, laughing, or walking – which is how “WM” now presents.

WM” was diagnosed as suffering from abusive head trauma. He required surgery to remove a part of his skull in order to alleviate the swelling around the brain and spent months in the hospital. Medical experts testified that the injury inflicted on “WM” is consistent with “a violent acceleration-deceleration event, such as a high-speed motor vehicle collision or being severely shaken or thrown..”

An online comment says this about the case:..Her (Grimm) story has changed repeatedly — her timeline is both inconsistent and incoherent and isn’t supported by the physical evidence.

Her daughter testified that the boy woke up crying while Mariel was in the shower, her daughter got her mother out of the shower who was angry about it, then Mariel was heard yelling at the boy to shut up. He then went entirely silent.

The boy suffered permanent and severely debilitating brain damage. To the extent that he is expected to remain a toddler in his capabilities for the rest of his life (though he is hoped to exceed those expectations). The damage was described, by one of the premier pediatric neurosurgical and neurological teams in the entire United States, as one of the worst cases of TBI that they’ve ever seen…Comment VO

Grimm noted in an online post that attorneys were “happy” that Judge Knutson was appointed to her case, and they had good reason to be considering the favorable outcome she would receive. Grimm was convicted in July 2017 by a jury of 1st degree felony assault; sentencing occurred in September 2017.

WM”, an adorable little boy with eyes that smile, chubby cheeks and golden blond hair, suffered from permanent brain damage and will never fully recover from injuries. The rest of his childhood will include continued medical treatment, and uncertainty. The Merchants said during their victim impact statement that “WM” cannot walk, requires a feeding tube, and suffers from seizures and intractable pain.

Mother, Jessica Merchant, said,” It is impossible to convey the tragedy and depth of devastation and sorrow as we watched our son fight for his life for days and weeks…

His life has been forever altered. Instead of wondering where he’ll go to college, or if he’ll be an engineer like his daddy, or a teacher like his mama, or an astronaut or a writer or an athlete, we have to wonder if he’ll even be able to have a job … to participate in school … to live on his own.”

Many in the courtroom cried after listening to the heart-wrenching victim impact statement. The Merchants asked Grimm be given the harshest sentence possible.

Despite the severity of “W.M’s” injuries, Judge Knutson showed sympathy – not to the “W.M.” or to the Merchant family but to the woman convicted of shaking the child, Mariel Grimm. Knutson praised Grimm for “cooperating” with the prosecutor’s office and her attitude in court; to which Judge Knutson bizarrely notes,”She has expressed ongoing love and support for the victim..” An “expression of love” does NOT involve violently shaking or throwing a toddler, causing his brain to hemorrhage!

Judge Knutson said he was also touched by the letters of support for Grimm but ignored the victim impact statement of the child’s parents, and the reaction of the public to it. 

Prosecutor Heather Pipenhagen said, “All of Ms. Grimm’s good qualities … do not mitigate what she did on September 22, 2016 to this child..Make no mistake, she took his life. He’s alive, but Ms. Grimm took his life.”

Grimm was facing up to 8 years in prison but in an act of misplaced mercy, Judge Knutson stayed the sentence so that Grimm will avoid prison. Instead, Grimm will spend up to 90 days in county jail but could be released in as little as 60 days. Grimm could also be released from jail to attend counseling appointments, and to home-school her 4 children. In addition, Grimm has been sentenced to 60 days of electronic home monitoring, 200 hours of community service and 15 years of probation. Grimm has an open case with CPS, her children were not removed from her home, but she has been required to be supervised when with them. As part of the conditions for probation Grimm is required to follow all directions of CPS. Grimm says she is innocent, that “WM” came to her home with injury, and plans to appeal.

A Fundraiser has been set up to help the Merchant family pay “W.M.’s” medical bills: Help with Medical Bills

Read More About the Merchant Case:

Daycare provider Mariel Grimm gets probation in shaken baby case (City Pages)

Eagan day care provider sentenced after baby left brain damaged (Twincities.com)

Eagan Day Care Provider Guilty Of Assaulting Toddler (Patch)

 

#2 – Dennis Roy Case (May 2013) : Stayed Sentence for Child Rapist, Victim Imprisoned By Ongoing Trauma, Flashbacks

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Dennis Michael Roy, pleaded guilty to felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct after raping and repeatedly assaulting a 5-year old girl, a relative, from Eagan (Case No. 19HA-CR-12-495).

Roy faced a maximum of 30 years in prison and $40,000 in fines…but instead he walked free. Roy appeared before Judge David L. Knutson, who handed down his sentence on March 22, 2013. Judge Knutson sentenced Roy to a 16-year stayed prison term and 20 years of probation.

In September 2014, Roy was found guilty of a probation violation for loitering in public with an open bottle of alcohol. He served 45 days in jail.Roy has 18 prior convictions, including second-degree burglary, multiple motor-vehicle thefts, multiple DUIs, trespassing, disorderly conduct and multiple domestic assaults.

The child involved continues to struggle with the assault, and suffers severely from the effects of trauma with flashbacks, anxiety and depression.

Read More on the Roy Case:

Never Forget: Judge Knutson – Stayed Sentence for Child Rapist

Child Rapist Gets Stayed Prison Term, 20 Years Probation

 

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Divorce/Custody Case: Abuser Given Sole Custody of Children He Victimized, Lifetime Ban From Children Against Protective Mother

Judge Knutson is the family court judge who presided over the Grazzini-Rucki divorce and custody trial after it was illegally re-opened. Judge Knutson also demanded that ALL legal matters concerning the Grazzini-Rucki family be placed under his jurisdiction alone, and no other. By “coincidence” all the judges appointed to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s other legal matters (appellate, child support, criminal) share a connection to Judge Knutson, and all have issued extremely harsh rulings against her – even violating the law to do so.

In September 2012, Judge Knutson court ordered the removal of mother and primary caregiver, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, from the home, causing all five children to run away after hearing the news. Judge Knutson instilled paternal aunt, Tammy Jo Love, a temporary guardian. Love had previously lost custody of her children due to drug use. The Rucki children feared Love, and say she mistreated them (one of the children told police after running away that Love hit her). Judge Knutson’s irrational decision came after allegations of sexual abuse involving two of the children were raised, which he was fully aware of. The Rucki children were apprehended and put into the care of a maternal aunt while Judge Knutson continued to work to give abuser, David Rucki, custody of the children who were so desperate to escape his abuse.

Instead of protecting the five Rucki children, Judge Knutson sought to isolate the children so they would have no avenue for help. Judge Knutson worked to give the abusive father complete control over the children – directly putting them in harm’s way. For the Rucki children, their childhood died the day their loving and protective mother was removed from their home, and their life, their existence would become a nightmare involving continued legal chaos and abuse; that would be impossible to escape, even as adults.

The traumatized Rucki children were then court ordered into reunification with identified abuser, father David Rucki. Some of the visits were facilitated in the Dakota County Judicial Center, where Judge Knutson used the court bailiffs to guard the doors so the children could not escape. Witnesses reported hearing the anguished cries of the children from behind closed doors during “reunification”. In another incident, the youngest child was heard screaming like a wounded animal, held captive by a therapist bent on “deprogramming”. The older siblings made efforts to help but were prevented and eventually separated from the younger siblings so they would be easier to control. Judge Knutson’s failure to protect the five Rucki children from the physical, mental and sexual abuse perpetrated by their father, David Rucki, has directly lead to these children being further abused, and now held captive by a custody ruling that has sentenced them to a life of torture.

Judge Knutson’s failure to consider the safety of the Rucki children created a crisis in which two of the eldest Rucki sisters ran away again on April 19, 2013, again citing fear for their safety when Judge Knutson attempted to place them again into the care of Tammy Jo Love.

While the eldest sisters were still missing, Judge Knutson ordered a custody trial, to be held on September 11-12, 2013 (note: the custody trial was held in the same courtroom as the Mariel Grimm criminal trial). During trial, Judge Knutson ordered Sandra’s attorney to proceed with while handcuffed and strapped to a wheelchair, without her client present, and no files, and not even her shoes or glasses. The custody trial was rife with due process violations, Constitutional violations, and legal error – in effect was a rigged trial masterminded by Judge Knutson. Under circumstances of great injustice, in November 2013, David Rucki was granted sole custody of all 5 children. At the time of the court order, Rucki was on probation for violating a protective order issued against him, after his continued abuse of Sandra. Judge Knutson later slapped a lifetime ban against loving and protective mother, Sandra – prohibiting her from any physical, verbal, or written contact with her children. Sandra has not seen or heard from her children in over 5 years, and grieves their loss every day, in every breath, she takes. 

The two oldest Rucki sisters remained in hiding, living on a therapeutic horse ranch, and refusing to return to their father, David Rucki, stating he abused them. Witnesses say both girls exhibited emotional and physical symptoms consistent with abuse. On the ranch the sisters were well cared for, and nurtured, and began to not only heal but thrive in their new environment, which they considered home. Tragically in November 2015, after 2 years the sisters were discovered, and despite their pleas for help, and the recommendation of a social worker to keep them in foster care for their safety, Judge Michael Mayer (a close friend of Judge Knutson) returned the sisters back into the custody of David Rucki. To attest to his violent nature, Rucki was on probation for a violent road rage incident at the time the girls were put into his care.

Sandra was later convicted of 6 counts of felony deprivation for her efforts to assist her daughters, who ran away from abuse. She has filed an appeal, and has not stopped fighting for justice, and to keep her children safe from abuse.

The Grazzini-Rucki case is yet another example of Judge Knutson showing preference to a dangerous abuser, and purposefully ignoring the safety concerns and well-being of a vulnerable child. Yet again, the abuser is given protective status while the child is placed in harm’s way, with the assistance of Judge Knutson.

Against all logic, Judge Knutson has shown sympathy to dangerous child predators and abusers. Criminals go free when jail is warranted, and vulnerable children are denied the justice and protection they deserve.

Is Minnesota safe with Judge Knutson on the bench?

Widespread Corruption in Grazzini-Rucki Case Discussed on F.A.C.E. U.S.

Date: August 9, 2017

Listen Here: F.A.C.E.U.S. Robin Lulu Marci Friedman Host Michael Volpe whistle blower summit

This episode of F.A.C.E.U.S. (Families Against Court Embezzlement Unethical Standards) features Robin, Lulu, Marci Friedman and Michael Volpe

Discussing the following topics:

* News and updates from the 2017 Whistleblower Summit where Michael Volpe was a speaker.

* Personal stories of guardianship abuse and the plight of vulnerable adults who are put under care by the courts then robbed of assets, abused or neglected and kept away from those trying to protect them. The Martin “Jack” Patterson guardianship abuse case is discussed, with updates provided of how he was able to get out guardianship after years of battling the courts, and the family that profited from holding him prisoner.

*News and updates on the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki family court case and criminal trial

  • Volpe provides an informative overview of the history of the Grazzini-Rucki case, the violent behavior of David Rucki, and how the Dakota County court system colluded with a dangerous abuser to give him custody of 5 children, and punish the mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who bravely sought to protect her children from harm.
  • Widespread corruption Grazzini-Rucki family court and criminal case – political, judicial and media are covered with details on how each has played a role in the injustices perpetrated against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.
  • The harassment restraining order issued against Dede Evavold and the violations of her free speech rights. In a case that has garnered nationwide media attention Evavold has been prohibited by Judge Karen Asphaug from from blogging on the Grazzini-Rucki case.                              Plz Like, Share and Repost!: F.A.C.E.U.S. Robin Lulu Marci Friedman Host Michael Volpe whistle blower summit

Tim Kinley of “Speechless Minnesota” on Grazzini-Rucki Case: “I have never, ever seen as much corruption in our courts…as I have in this case..”

Public Domain Image: http://allswalls.com. Edited by Justice Blog.

Tim Kinley, public access host of “Speechless Minnesota”, covering issues of family law reform, judicial accountability and all levels of politics in Minnesota says he was shut down from SCC Studio in White Bear Lake because of “politics” and “they didn’t want our message out there.” After 9 months, Kinley is back and stronger than ever!

During the 1st half of an episode of “Speechless” that originally aired on 3/8/2017, Kinley provides updates on the Grazzini-Rucki case.

Kinley says about the Grazzini-Rucki case,”This case, all together, not only with the civil side of the case to the criminal side of the case, is just unbelievable! I have never, ever seen as much corruption in our courts, so systemic, so obvious, so in your face, as I have in this case….this case enters into the most amount of legal issues that I’ve seen in any case, and it is so bad…”

Topics Discussed:

*Efforts to press for an investigation of the Grazzini-Rucki case in the Legislature

*Child support issues in the Grazzini-Rucki case

*Systemic judicial corruption existing at all levels of government in Minnesota and especially the judiciary, being exposed in the Grazzini-Rucki case

*Comparing judicial disciplinary actions in two similar cases in Minnesota and Nevada

“Speechless Minnesota” with Tim Kinley

Kinley says he has been petitioning the Legislature to do a case study, and go through this case “piece by piece” on the Grazzini-Rucki case “for the purpose only of understanding how a judge interprets their laws that they are writing.. and they will find out that a judge does whatever they want.”

Kinley argues that even if the law is changed a judge will continue to “do what they want” and they only remedy is increased judicial accountability.

To illustrate his point, Kinley compares the actions of Judge David L. Knutson and former Nevada judge, Conrad Hafen in two similar cases that were handled very differently in their respective states.

Judge David L. Knuston, is the family law judge appointed to the Grazzini-Rucki case. In September 2013, during the custody trial Sandra’s attorney, Michelle MacDonald, was found in contempt of court, and placed in handcuffed after taking a picture in the courtroom, which she had gotten permission to take.

While MacDonald was detained, Sandra was told that court was dismissed and then left the courthouse, taking the files with her. MacDonald was then ordered to continue with trial, while still in handcuffs and strapped to a wheelchair, without her client being present, without case files and without her glasses or shoes. MacDonald was finally released after spending more than 24 hours behind bars without being charged, booked or allowed a phone call. Lawyer Allegedly Tortured For Doing Her Job

Judge Knutson was never held accountable – federal lawsuits against him are dismissed under the guise of immunity, and The Board on Judicial Standards refuses to investigate (Knutson is now a member of the Board). In fact, Judge Knutson later filed a disciplinary complaint against Michelle MacDonald, who has been charged with making a false statement against a judge! Michelle MacDonald receives ‘minimal’ discipline

Kinley compares this incident to a case from Nevada involving disciplinary action taken against former family court judge Conrad Hafen, who has been barred for life from the court bench in Nevada as punishment for a series of courtroom confrontations, including ordering a defense attorney to be handcuffed when she wouldn’t stop arguing to keep a client out of jail. Hafen is also accused, in 3-4 separate incidents, of holding litigants in contempt of court but never making a record of that. Ex-judge banned from Nevada bench for handcuffing of lawyer

 Kinley applauds the State of Nevada for “willing to expose” out of control judges, and for enforcing judicial accountability… the same cannot be said for Minnesota.

Click on the video below to watch this riveting episode of “Speechless”

Minnesota Attorney General’s Office Defends Corrupt Judge, Refuses to Intervene in Grazzini-Rucki Case

Is the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office participating in a cover up of corruption happening in Dakota County? 

The current Attorney General in Minnesota is Laurie Swanson, who was elected in 2006, and reelected in 2010 and 2014. The Attorney General’s Office has been receiving documentation concerning the Grazzini-Rucki case for over 5 years and has refused to investigate or take any action in the face of serious allegations, and evidence, showing corruption in local government and law enforcement. However, when opposing President Trump’s immigrant order, Lori Swanson said “It does not pass constitutional muster, is inconsistent with our history as a nation, and undermines our national security. The same can be said for Dakota County; yet instead of taking a public stance on a very real concern that affects not only the Grazzini-Rucki family but the entire state of Minnesota, and possibly tens of thousands of families victimized by an out of control court system, Swanson remains silent. Now is a time for leadership, not silence.

Minn. Attorney General Lori Swanson (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

The ONLY action the Attorney General’s Office has taken in the Grazzini-Rucki case is to vigorously defend the law-breaking, corrupt family law judge, David L. Knuston… this flies in the face of a recent letter issued by the Attorney General’s office stating they have no authority over “investigating and prosecuting criminal matters”.

An article, and letter recently published by journalist Michael Volpe of CDN News Minnesota Attorney General’s office adds to confusion in Rucki case shows that the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office has recently been made aware of possible violations of the law in the Grazzini-Rucki case committed by various officials in Dakota County who are involved with the case. The Attorney General’s office acknowledges that they have received a letter from Volpe but has declined to take any action. Even if the Attorney General felt they had “no authority” they could at least refer to the complaint to an agency who could investigate or intervene. Instead the Attorney General’s Office refers Volpe to Dakota County, back to the people directly involved in potentially illegal acts, and corruption. The Attorney General is effectively enabling, and empowering those already breaking the law, and violating the Constitutional rights of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and the five Rucki children.

Judge David L Knutson

The Attorney General’s office has been receiving documentation regarding the Grazzini-Rucki case since 2011; with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her family law attorney, Michelle MacDonald, both contacting the Attorney General’s office. In 2013, Sandra Grazzini and Ms. MacDonald requested a meeting a with the Attorney General’s Office regarding a complaint against Dr. James Gilbertson. A meeting was held in which the Assistant Attorney General and an attorney appeared on behalf of Lori Swanson. During the meeting, the Attorney General’s Office was made aware of the abuse of the Rucki children by father David Rucki, and made aware of inappropriate behavior from therapist Dr. James Gilbertson, who was working with the children. Affidavits from S.R. and G.R. detailing abuse, court failures and allegations against Dr. Gilbertson, as well as their audio testimony, was provided to the Attorney General’s Office, among other substantial evidence of abuse. At the time of the meeting S.R. and G.R. had run away, and were still missing. During the meeting, the Attorney General’s Office promised they would protect the Rucki children from their father, David Rucki, and protect them from therapist, Dr. James Gilbertson, if they came into the office. For the Attorney General’s Office to now say that they will not get involved in the Grazzini-Rucki case contradicts their statement from 2013 stating they would protect the children.

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

The Minnesota Attorney General’s office has failed to protect the Rucki children as promised and instead has protected those who have placed the children in the abusive situation. In 2013/2014 Attorney General’s Office defended family law judge David L. Knutson, in a federal civil rights case involving Sandra and her children (Sandra Grazzini-Rucki v. Judge David Knutson, No. 13-cv-02477). In this matter, Alethea M Huyser represented the Attorney General’s Office. The cost of this defense was raised with tax payer dollars, and the expense of individual liberties. In Minnesota, an untold number of tax payer dollars, an estimated tens of thousands of dollars, was used to argue that Judge Knutson is immune for any consequence including a suit for damages regardless of what he did – even if he violated basic civil rights.

An online comments says about the lawsuit“…what Judge David Knutson has done to this woman and her family is diabolical. There is no possible way ANY rational human being could look at the file of this case and not have it be abundantly clear how out of control the “system” is when a judge can get away with what this man has done. This is not about a divorce, or a couple arguing over custody of their children…….that had already been settled long before Judge Knutson became involved in this case. This is about a judge acting completely outside the confines of the law, which is why he is being sued as an individual.

As the CHIEF legal officer of the State of Minnesota, the Attorney General should be active in preventing corruption from happening within local government and state law enforcement agencies, should be defending citizens from Constitutional violations committed by judges and public officials, and should investigate – or refer the complaint to an authority who can investigate. Lori Swanson has the guts to stand up to the President of the United States – then why can’t she stand up to Judge David L. Knutson, and Dakota County?

And that is the great travesty of justice that has occurred in Grazzini-Rucki case, and is abundantly evident in the response from the Attorney General’s office – that when confronted with real substantial showing corruption is occurring in government offices, that the power entrusted to elected officials is being abused, that lives are being destroyed and laws being broken by judges, state officials, law enforcement (etc) that have violated their mandated duties – the Attorney General, like so many others in the State of Minnesota, has chosen to ignore, deny, shift blame or engage in victim blaming. Ultimately refusal to act equates that of being an enabler to injustice.

ALSO READ Archived Articles from the Carver County Corruption Blog:

“Minnesota Tax Payers To Pay Tens of Thousands of Dollars for Judge’s Legal Defense”. Posted 12/11/2013.

Minnesota’s Attorney General Lori Swanson announced in a letter dated October 10, 2013 that her office will defend Judge David Knutson in a federal civil rights case. The cost of this defense will be tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Damages owed by Minnesota taxpayer will be tens of millions of dollars if the plaintiff wins her case.

The plaintiff in the case alleges that Judge Knutson, a former republican state senator appointed to be a judge by former governor Tim Pawlenty, violated the plaintiff’s civil rights and the rights of her five children ages 10, 12, 13, 15 and 17 in a Dakota County divorce and custody proceeding. Judge Knutson deprived the plaintiff of her home of seventeen years, her automobile, all of her other assets and possessions, leaving her homeless and penniless. Worse, Judge Knutson declared the plaintiff had Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), a completely discredited theory. The PAS theory is that if children hate their father, it’s the mother’s fault, even if the father is an abuser. The father, David Rucki, has a long history of domestic abuse and also a history of sexual abusing his own daughters. Records show that he failed to report or pay taxes on millions of dollars of income. All of plaintiff’s children were taken from her. She has had less than four hours of contact with her children this past year. Two of her children, teenage girls, ran from their father’s and his sister’s abuse of them in April, 2013, six months ago. They still are on the run and not even in school. Judge Knutson is a participant in the abuse of these girls. This is domestic violence in Minnesota’s courts in the very month that is domestic violence awareness month.

The complaint asks for tens of millions of dollars as damages. If the federal court that hears the case and the jury that decides it rules in plaintiff’s favor, Minnesota taxpayers will have to pay the damages.”

Also from the Carver County Corruption Blog:

“Legislative Oversight of the Judiciary”. Posted 1/11/2014.

“Now Is The Time

Judges can do anything they want – violate constitutions, ignore enacted laws, disregard court rules of procedure, refuse to follow appellate court precedent – with no consequence or penalty at all. They have unlimited power. They are not accountable to anyone. Not even if they hurt children, destroy families, or alienate children from their parents. This was vividly illustrated at a hearing in Minnesota’s federal district court on January 10, 2014 in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki v. Judge David Knutson, No. 13-cv-02477 (SRN/JSM). Lori Swanson, the Minnesota Attorney General, vigorously defended Judge Knutson in this case without charge, i.e., at public expense. Her deputy argued that Judge Knutson was immune from any consequence including a suit for damages regardless of what he did – even if he violated basic civil rights.

In other words, according to Attorney General Swanson, judges are God. They are infallible. Like kings, they can do no wrong. But, is this the way it should be? Does Minnesota’s constitution fail to address this? The answer to both questions is “no.” Judges should be required to follow the Minnesota and U.S. constitutions, enacted laws, court rules of procedure, appellate precedent, and do what is right and just. They should not be allowed to ignore these standards. Legislative oversight, similar to executive oversight provided by the Legislative Auditor, will accomplish this. This should be because it will curb domestic violence, child abuse, repair our family court system, and because it is what is best for our society.

The book, Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody, edited by Barry Goldstein and Mo Hannah, states in the book’s introduction, “As one would expect of a diverse group of experts coming from many different disciplinary and practice fields, our contributors do not agree on every issue or approach. Nevertheless, they show an overwhelming consensus that the custody court system as presently constituted is broken and that the court’s failure to apply current research findings to court practices has placed the lives and well-being of thousands of children and protective mothers in jeopardy.” Thirty-two nationally recognized scholars contributed chapters to this book. One of these contributors, Erika A. Sussman, a nationally recognized attorney, wrote, “While legislatures and the general public have come to recognize domestic violence (DV) as a private and public wrong, family courts throughout the nation continue to inflict enormous injustices upon battered women and their children. In the name of ‘gender equity’ and ‘fatherhood rights’, custody courts often render decisions that ignore the substantial risks posed by battering parents, thereby jeopardizing the physical safety of survivors and their children.” Thousands, probably tens of thousands, of children and protective parents are victims of a severely dysfunctional judicial system, including many guardians ad litem (GAL), custody evaluators, and other court “experts.” Thousands of children are badly hurt and damaged by domestic violence and abusive parents, mostly fathers. These children become hurt and damaged adults. Many turn to alcohol and drugs. Some become violent resulting in massacres and murders. Our society is being poisoned by our dysfunctional judiciary. Judge accountability is the obvious solution. As Niccolo Machiavelli wrote, and as history has shown many, many times, power corrupts, especially unlimited power.

Please introduce a bill – already prepared – that implements Minnesota Constitution Article VI, Section 9, which provides; ‘The legislature may also provide for the retirement, removal, or other discipline of any judge who is disabled, incompetent or guilty of conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.’

Posted Online in Reference to the Minn. Attorney General’s Office:

In excess of 7 YEARS of CORRUPTION in the MN. Attorney Generals Office (archives of  corruption)

ACORN, Payola and Color of Law

Two new issues surface involving attorney general’s office

Attorney General Complaint Letter Capital One

Did Hatch divert money to allies and ACORN in 2006?

Minnesota AG office accused of fraud, politicization, abuse

U.S. House Committee to Investigate MN Attorney General Lori Swanson

 

Commentary: Bailiffs Acting Like Judge Knutson’s Personal Thugs

Commentary from http://www.familylawcourts.com on injustice in the Grazzini-Rucki v. Rucki custody trial and the use of bailiffs as the “personal thugs” of Judge Knutson (pictures added by blog)

Isn’t the courthouse the last place one would expect laws are broken?

Dakota County Judicial Center

Dakota County Judicial Center

Turns out, not so much….


09-18-13: What’s up with Minnesota?

Why are Hastings deputy bailiffs acting as if they are Judge David L. Knutson‘s personal thugs?

 Worse; do bailiffs not realize their job description for safety includes everyone at the courthouse?

2014rally

Do bailiffs not realize part of their job is to exercise independent judgment? 

If Judge Knutson is this much of a whack job, (and it would seem he is) doesn’t the public deserve at the very least:  Bailiffs with brains?  

Read attorney Michelle L. MacDonald’s Affidavit (Page 6, Numbers Eight, nine…(oh heck, read the whole thing), here. 

This is America?  Have there been other complaints filled against this judge?  

horrendousfamilycourt2

We initially hoped Judge Knutson wasn’t the Standard for what passes for justice in Minnesota, but turns out, he is.

84a6b-gaveljudgecourtcoollawwallpaperphoto5starsphistarsworthy

Yep, Judge David L Knutson is the standard for Minnesota, because he is a sitting board member of the (we are not making this up) Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards

3a12c-hickknutson02

So the joke is on Lady Justice, and the people of Minnesota. 

ladyjustice

Finally,  where is Minnesota media?  Day camp?