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

Dakota County Judicial Center, Hastings, Minnesota

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Judge David L Knutson

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

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

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

 

Guardian ad Litem Julie Friedrich

 

Paul Reitman

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

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

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

The letter (which was not allowed to be submitted as evidence in Sandra’s criminal trial) included this statement from her daughter,” I know the difference between a lie and the truth….

I stand here today to tell you the truth about my father. To begin with, he has not only told my family that he is homicidal, but sat us down at kitchen table and yelled at us saying that he was not only going to kill me but my brothers, sister and mom. Not even a week later I received a horrifying voicemail of 6 gunshots. He has also choked, slapped, and hit and verbally abused my mother repeatedly throughout their. marriage. He also has lost it on us kids more than a number of time physically and verbally. Also he has made sexual comments to me over the year about my boobs look bigger and so forth and over the year many of my friends could not hang out with me because of my father. The day my father officially moved out of the Ireland place home was not only a day of peace and happiness but safety in the household…Letters from Rucki Sisters April 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Judge Karen J Asphaug

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

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

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

Sandra is actively appealing the decision.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 13, 2013 - Diary posted by Rucki child online

May 13, 2013 – Diary posted by Rucki child online

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

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

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

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

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

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

Screenshot Rucki Child Diary

Screenshot Rucki Child Diary

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

4bebc-brodkorb_rucki_love_elliot_donehower_19av-fa-11-1273_012616

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

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

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

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

Judge David L Knutson

Judge David L Knutson

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

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

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

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

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

rucki-children2

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

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4/2/13 Sick

4/4/13 Headache

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

4/8/13 Killed

4/11/13 Scared

4/12/13 Wow

4/21/13 Crappy

4/22/13 612-308-0512

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

2/2/13 Silly

2/7/13 Drained

2/12/13 Lazy

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

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

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

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

3/2/13 Worried

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

3/5/13 Stupid

3/8/13 Animal

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

3/11/13 Prankster

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

3/13/13 Gleek

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

3/16/13 Rainbowed

3/17/13 Green St Patty’s Day

3/19/13 Ignored

3/20/13 Awful

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

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

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

4/2/13 Sick

4/4/13 Headache

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

4/8/13 Killed

4/11/13 Scared

4/12/13 Wow

4/21/13 Crappy

4/22/13 612-308-0512

4/28/13 Funky

5/4/13 Annoyed – includes a frowning face

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

 

FROM THE CARVER COUNTY CORRUPTION BLOG:

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

Guardian ad Litem Julie Friedrich

 

For More Information:

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

Investigative Report Dahlen/Rucki

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

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

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki convicted of hiding daughters (CDN)

Did Detective Dronen Use Coercion, Fraud to Elicit A Statement in Grazzini-Rucki Case?

Public Domain: http://absfreepic.com

Public Domain: http://absfreepic.com

Small town, Lakeville police, traveled an estimated 191 miles one chilly day, November 18, 2015, to a horse ranch in a quiet corner of Minnesota. Greeting them in the gravel driveway were Star Tribune reporters, who had been waiting 3 hours to break the biggest story their podunk paper had seen since the 1991 Halloween Blizzard covered trick-or-treaters in 8.2 inches of ghostly white snow. Star Tribune cameras were on the scene to catch every dramatic minute as the runaway Rucki sisters were discovered after a multi-agency search warrant.

Even outside their jurisdiction, Detective Jim Dronen and Kelli Coughlin were territorial over this case – that of the runaway Rucki sisters, who went missing in April 2013 to escape an abusive home that family court would not protect them from. These two detectives would accomplish what Judge Knutson could not do despite 3,400 court orders issued against the mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who was left homeless, destitute and torn from the children who were “my world” after the court’s illegal actions. What reunification therapist James Gilbertson tried but failed at, as he recommended “unconventional” methods of therapy such as forcing the children to sit in at court hearings, and forcing the children to have a face-to-face visit with their father the day he was due in court for violating a no contact order (no contact meaning with the children). What Guardian ad Litems Julie Friedrich and Laura Miles attempted by denying the abuse and shoving the truth down their throats, as they gagged – these children were going back into the care of their abusive father.

Was the interrogation method used on Doug Dahlen coercive, fraudulent? And were coercive methods used on the teenage Rucki sisters? A new video from Lion News offer a glimpse into the interrogation of Doug Dahlen.

Police can use a variety of methods to get information or elicit a confession – they can lie, exaggerate and even use some forms of trickery to obtain information from a subject, to get a confession. The one thing police can not do is coerce a confession. Coercion is defined as physical or psychological force, threats or intimidation. Similarly, trickery that results in a false confession is not allowed.

The Lion News Video (below) offers excerpts of the police interviews from the Rucki investigation, as well as an excerpt of a police interview between Detective Dronen (#4816) and Doug Dahlen that occurred on November 18, 2015.

Doug is one of the defendants in the high-profile Grazzini-Rucki case, who, along with his wife, sheltered the runaway Rucki girls at his therapeutic horse ranch for over 2 years.

This interview occurred AFTER the Rucki girls were found living at the Ranch.

dougginadahlen

Doug and Gina Dahlen

(4:11) Doug Dahlen calls wife, Gina, “Hello… Hey.. Did you get my message? Can you come home? Um police are here and they’re talking about what they’re going to do with the Girls. They can stay here ’til get this sorted out or whether they have to go and stay somewhere else or what. They um the mom’s in jail and they’re saying if the Girls go in and take care of this, that they can get their mother out of jail and uh hopefully get this straightened out. As of now I don’t really think they know what they’re going to do with them…

COERCION: A person who has power over another compels someone to act or make a choice by force, threat or overcoming their own individual will. Coercion can involve fraud to compel someone to do something they would not ordinarily do.

It is coercive to tell Doug Dahlen, and the Girls (if they were given a similar message) that if they “straighten this out” i.e. talk to police, and tell police what they want to hear, that their mother (Sandra Grazzini-Rucki) can get out of jail. Another implied threat is the unanswered question on where the Girls will go – that cooperation may result in the Girls being able to stay at the Ranch. Notice also that Doug is talking to police without the benefit of an attorney.

Both of the Rucki sisters were minors at the time they were found, and were in a vulnerable state. For the last 2 years, the Girls considered the Dahlens as family, and grew accustomed to their life on the Ranch. The Girls had ample opportunity to leave, and return to their father, but chose to stay. Now these Girls were losing their home – for a second time in their life, a traumatic upheaval (the first when Sandra was forced out of the home, and their lives in Sept. 2012). Where were the Girls going – they could not stay with the Dahlens, and threatened to run away if returned to father, David Rucki, That is what makes this coercive – applying pressure, and compelling testimony under duress; especially on vulnerable teen girls. The fraud is stating that testimony could get Sandra Grazzini-Rucki out of jail, that simply would not happen, and police knew it.

NO child should be placed in this type of situation by police. There are organizations that specialize in conducting forensic interviews with children and vulnerable adults that could have been utilized. These organizations typically offer family counseling and community resources as well. An age appropriate, trauma informed approach could have assisted the police investigation in a way that would minimize stress on the Girls, and allow them to be heard. But that never happened. Instead the Lakeville police pushed their agenda… and silenced the Girls as so many in Dakota County had done before.

Detective Dronen. Source: https://redherringalert.wordpress.com, sunthisweek

Another element of psychological coercion… and testimony from Doug that supports the Girls were abuse victims.

(5:58) Detective Dronnen states, “You said when the girls first got here, they were afraid?”

Doug, “Beyond afraid. They were terrified. I’ve never seen a kid so scared. I can’t emphasize that to you… I’ve seen kids in pretty rough shape, I’ve never seen one that was truly afraid for their life until I saw them.”

Detective Dronnen, “Did they ever tell you why they were afraid?”

Doug, “No, one time I went in and S.R. was curled up in the bathroom, in a fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably. ” <– This is called REGRESSION, and is a sign of severe trauma or abuse. Regression is the act of returning to an earlier stage of behavioral or physical development; this can occur because trauma not only affects the mind and emotion, but is also stored in the body, at a cellular level. Trauma also affects body chemistry.

Detective Dronnen, “Did she ever talk about anything that happened at home?”

Doug, “Just how terrible it was. Never gave much for details… ” Doug goes on to say S.R. did not like “being touched by a man”, even in common social interactions. <– Note S.R. may have found someone else to confide in; if she had an aversion to men it makes sense that she would not trust or open up to a man, even Doug.

In the next excerpt, Detective Dronen gives Doug Dahlen his version of what happened with the Grazzini-Rucki divorce and custody case, and omits all mention of domestic abuse and child abuse allegations or David Rucki’s criminal history. This is done intentionally! Detective Dronen is controlling the interview, and feeding information to Doug with the intent of changing his perspective, and ultimately changing testimony that may support that abuse happened to the Rucki girls.

Keep in mind Detective Dronen previously dismissed an OFP violation against David Rucki wiped it completely from MNCIS. Dronen personally knew about the abuse allegations, and purposely withheld this information when giving his version of the Grazzini-Rucki divorce and child custody dispute to Doug.

Det. Dronnen dismisses OFP against David Rucki, wipes from MNCIS. Source: https://redherringalert.wordpress.com

Det. Dronen deletes OFP violation against David Rucki, wipes from MNCIS. Source: https://redherringalert.wordpress.com

Doug sounds incredulous as he is listening, and relies on past experience to weigh Detective Dronen’s words. When Doug brings up his own experiences with a stressful divorce, Detective Dronen adapts Doug’s comments to supportive the narrative he is pushing.This means Dronen is shaping Doug’s perspective, and changing his recollection on a past event. This type of questioning is extremely damaging because Detective Dronen is feeding information, ideas and emotions into Doug that were not previously there. Doug has no one else to offer additional information, he is reliant solely on Dronen.

Detective Dronen tries to sell Doug his version of events – that parental alienation had occurred, that Sandra is mentally ill and completely withholds any information about the allegations of abuse. If this sounds plausible, you too maybe a victim of psychological coercion.

Key elements of psychological coercion involve

  1. Rejecting alternate information and individual opinions.Communication is controlled, permissible subjects and thoughts are directed. Alternate ideas or free thought is shut down or guided back into desired parameters.
  2. Forcing the victim to re-evaluate what has happened, their experience in a negative way. The victim is made to feel like a “bad” person or alternately, is made to feel bad about their experience and made to feel that adopting the chose perspective is redemptive or “good”.
  3. Controlled communication produces efforts are  to destabilize and undermine the subject’s consciousness, sense of reality, sense of self, emotions and defense mechanisms. The subject wrestles with internal questions, doubts, and then reinterprets their experience to  adopts the perspective given to them.
  4. Creating triggers in the subject by eliciting strong emotional reactions by manipulating their perspectives, and what is important to them i.e. home, family, ethical values, past experiences, past hurts, guilt, anxiety etc

Psychological coercion does not leave a bruise or a mark but it’s impact can not be underestimated.The intense pressure of psychological coercion can and does weaken a person’s will power and limit their ability to make free choices. The victim is unable to use discernment, judgement or call on help as they normally would had they not been manipulated.  According to one expert, The Neurotypical Suite, “The cumulative effect of psychological coercion can be an even more effective form of undue influence than pain, torture, drugs or the use of physical force or threats.

Police need to use the power invested in them carefully and avoid any actions or behavior that is or  could be interpreted as coercive.

Statements that are made under coercion are not made through an exercise of free will.  If Doug Dahlen – or the Rucki girls – were told by Detective Dronen, or any member of the Lakeville police, that if they “straightened things out” and gave a statement to police, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki could “get out of jail”  that is coercion. It is eliciting a statement based on fraud, and is applying duress with the underlying message of if you do not comply, she will remain in jail. To excuse this behavior as being part of the job, as policeman, opens the door to abuses of power –  abuses of power have destroyed the Grazzini-Rucki family, and if not exposed and stopped, anyone of us could become a victim next.

Note: This video include slides that are somewhat editorialized, the audio content is what applies to this article, plz use discernment.

 

 

Also Read:

Media Mayhem: Has Stahl and Brodkorb Gone Too Far Reporting on the Grazzini-Rucki Case??

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

sentencingsgr

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

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

horrendousfamilycourt2

Lakeville, Minnesota: Lion News released an emotional video excerpt of the June 30, 2016 interview between Samantha Rucki and Detective Kelli Coughlin. LION NEWS: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO OF SAMANTHA RUCKI CALLING DAKOTA CO. JUDGE KNUTSON A “DICK”

The shocking video begins with Samantha tearfully crying, “It never should of happened, I just want to be with my Mom.” At another point in the interview, Samantha says, “I just wanted to be with her (Sandra) and no one would let us…

Samantha was questioned about her two-year long disappearance following a family court order that temporarily granted custody to paternal aunt, Tammy Jo  Love, and placed the Rucki children within the control of abusive father, David Rucki. The Rucki children raised numerous allegations of abuse against their father and also stated that they did not feel safe in the care of Tammy Jo Love.

Samantha admits she was “guilted” by her father, David Rucki, to do an interview with police and told to “recant”.

Earlier this week, journalist Michael Volpe reported on the same interview: Explosive Rucki police interview adds new wrinkle to story

Volpe elaborates on the interview, offering additional details, including, “Initially, the younger Rucki told the Detective that her father attempted to threaten her ahead of the interview, “They (her father and his sister) basically said I have to (go to the interview) and I have to be here and I have to recant everything I said and it’s going and that’s the way it’s gonna be- and they made me feel guilty about it and I started to cry.”

This tampering takes on extra meaning because when Samantha testified in her mother’s trial, the court took the unusual step of allowing Samantha to testify by Skype and out of the view of the jury. Her father, his sister, her grandmother, and attorney were all in the room all out of the view of the jury.

At least one child did recant his story – Nico Rucki previously disclosed physical and mental abuse from his father, has now changed his story and says it was Sandra who pressured him to make those claims. Was Nico subjected to the same treatment as Samantha had described?

Comments made in the police interview suggest that Rucki terrorized his family. Samantha states she felt “frightened”, and witnessed escalating violence in the home, “It was constantly screaming, and he (David Rucki) was getting to the point where he was starting to get physical.”

Samantha admits she ran away because she was in a “panic” and says the failures of the Dakota County Family Court -specifically  Judge David L. Knutson, Julie Friedrich (Guardian ad Litem), Dr. Gilbertson (a therapist) – contributed to her decision.

Sandra’s criminal trial was presided by Judge Karen Asphaug, who refused to allow the transcript or audio of this interview to be entered as evidence. Judge Asphaug also refused to allow a domestic violence expert to testify on Sandra’s behalf; 75% of evidence submitted was withheld from the jury.

Sandra is due to be sentenced September 21st – she has been charged with 6 felony counts of depriving custodial rights. The circumstances surrounding her conviction raise concerns that she did not receive a fair trial.

Also concerning is the safety and well-being of the Rucki children. David Rucki went to great lengths in an attempt to silence Samantha…what has he got to hide, and what lengths will he go to bury the truth?

 

Judge Karen J Asphaug

Judge Karen J Asphaug

 

Judge David L Knutson

Judge David L Knutson

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

Guardian ad Litem Julie Friedrich

Guardian ad Litem Julie Friedrich

Speechless Discusses Abuse Allegations in Grazzini-Rucki Case, Court’s Response

The July 7th episode of Speechless (starting at 21 minutes) takes an in-depth look at the allegations of abuse in the Grazzini-Rucki case, and discusses how the family court handled those concerns.

Highlights include:

Sandra was not present at the September 2012 emergency court hearing that ordered her out of the home, and prohibited any contact with her children. This means Sandra is not allowed to see her children based on information she did not hear, she did not see, and that she could not rebut. To this day she remains forcibly estranged from her children due to an unjust court order.

The April 2013 incident were Samantha and Gianna Rucki ran away from home was not the first attempt for the Rucki children to try to run away in order to escape the abuse and dysfunction they were living in. In September 2012, after the emergency hearing, four of the Rucki children attempted to run away from home; which is why the children were placed into the care of a maternal aunt.

A letter from Dr. James Gilbertson, the court appointed psychologist treating the children indicates the children were afraid of their father, David Rucki, and suggests abuse did occur. The letter also indicates that the focus of therapy was not related to anything Sandra did but rather, dealt with the fear the children had of their father, whom they described as “an angry and violent person”.

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

 

Judge Knutson pushed for reunification therapy after the Rucki children had disclosed allegations of abuse to him, and even after David violated the no contact order with the children.

-David was charged with disorderly conducted in a road rage incident, and on probation, when the run away Rucki girls were returned to his care. The girls had raised concerns about their father’s violent behavior, and expressed fear of him after being “recovered”. The road rage incident proves the violence that David is capable of – and validates the concerns the girls had. The system should have worked to protect the girls, but instead branded them with parental alienation and pushed for reunification, which has endangered their safety.

Please see full the episode and join the discussion in the comments section. The letter from Dr. Gilbertson is posted below.

“It is my opinion that the children’s fear issue needs to be addressed directly, and that can only 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…” – Letter from Dr. James Gilbertson, Feb 6, 2013.

Gilbertson2013a

Gilbertson2013b

Gilbertson2013c

 

Additional Sources:

Chaos and Horror After Courts Step in For Rucki Family by Michael Volpe, CDN