(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
*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
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
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.
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.
Update on Dede Evavold HRO… one of the complaints against Evavold in the fraudulent HRO filed by Davd Rucki is that she posted pictures of Rucki’s home on social media.
Turns out that, in fact pictures of both the Ireland Place property and the property in Farmington, owned by David Rucki, were previously posted online in a realty listing. The photos of both homes have existed online for many years, and were made publicly available even before Evavold’s criminal trial began. These pictures are now in the public domain.
What’s next an HRO filed against the realtor, against Google??
See for yourself:
Fraud on Farmington Property
At some point Rucki listed this home in Farmington for sale, and his realtor created a site including interior and exterior photos of the home. Rucki then de-listed the house… if he was so poor and in need of public assistance, why not just sell the home and use the proceeds to support his family?
Rucki continues to keep ex-wife Sandra Grazzini-Rucki listed on the mortgage to the Farmington home — even to this day. Why? Rucki admitted in court that he masterminded a “paper divorce” and with the help of Judge Knutson, worked to destroy Sandra by depleting all of her financial assets. What came next was a series of court motions that made it impossible for Sandra to financially support herself, more court orders were issued to ban Sandra from all contact with family so she would not be able to receive any help or assistance. The sum of the 4,000+ court orders issued by Judge Knutson is the attempted murder of a loving stay at home mother, who became a liability to her abusive husband when she sought a divorce, and exposed his abuse of her and the children to the family court.
Judge Knutson drafted a court order that gave David Rucki 100% of the marital property, including the Farmington home. Sandra has zero rights or ownership to the property. At the same time, Judge Knutson allowed Rucki to leave Sandra on the mortgage of the Farmington home so that she could be held financially liable for the property. The Farmington property supposedly is also being used as a rental property, meaning Rucki generates income on it. A homeless woman is now being held financially responsible for the mortgage of her millionaire husband’s second home… by order of Judge Knutson.
Sandra is destitute and homeless. She has slept in the darkest corners…places most could not imagine, with only the rats scampering across the dirty streets to witness her desperation. Huddled in castaway clothing to keep her warm, Sandra clutches legal papers to her chest, hoping that one day the truth will be revealed and she will exonerated and set free from this hellish life.
In comparison, abusive ex-husband, David Rucki, has been given exclusive ownership of not one but 4 separate homes, that they owned jointly during the marriage by order of Judge Knutson. In addition, Rucki has been given 100% of property inside all four homes – including every item of Sandra’s personal belongings down to from her family mementos down to her socks. Sandra’s name is listed on a mortgage of a home that she cannot step foot in even though she is so desperately in need of shelter. The Farmington home is beautifully remodeled with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, cherry cabinets in the kitchen and adjacent to a city park. It is the perfect home for a family, but the happy laughter of children will remain forever silent in these empty rooms.
If that is not outrageous enough, while Sandra is living on the street, homeless, Rucki uses the pole barn in the back of the home as a luxury suite for his collection of classic cars. The cars even have a home, and are protected from the elements, while ex-wife Sandra is living on the streets. Rucki owns a total of 9 fully restored classic cars, with a specially designed lift to stack the cars so they will fit in the luxury suit. The rest of the luxury suite is Rucki’s own version of the playboy mansion and includes a fully stocked bar with the most expensive taste in liquor, includes a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. The taxpayers are footing the bill for Rucki’s life of luxury since he is living off public assistance PLUS he writes off the entire Farmington property as a business expense on his taxes.
While Sandra is living on the streets, Rucki is even able to provide his collection of cigars with a home. Rucki pays for 3 separate, exclusive memberships to house his collection of expensive cigars in a humidor, with personal use of a temperature controlled wall vault. Each vault is beautifully decorated with Rucki’s name engraved in gold (every welfare recipient should have their own humidor inside a cigar lounge!).
Clearly, Rucki doesn’t need to be on welfare, he is just scamming the system. Each cigar Rucki smokes, he burns up cash while he demands nearly $1,000 a month in child support from ex-wife Sandra. Sandra is not only homeless but the State of Minnesota has denied food support and general assistance to her, leaving her utterly destitute. Sandra should not even have to ask for welfare, nor should be homeless, had Rucki complied with the divorce on it’s original, mutually agreed upon terms, she would be living very well today, and financially stable, raising the five children she loves.
If that is not bad enough, Sandra has also been court ordered by Judge Knutson to pay the millionaire’s credit card debt — and she has ZERO income. David Rucki is also using the Farmington address, and using Sandra’s name to charge up thousands of dollars of debt on credit cards, one example is this publicly listed notice from September 25, 2014: Capital Finance LLC v Rucki
According to the complaint, on May 1, 2004, Rucki opened a charge account with U.S. Bank, with $31,417 owed at the time of this notice posted in the newspaper. According to the complaint Rucki was “unjustly enriched” and refusing to pay back the amount owed.
So what is Rucki’s defense for going on a shopping spree and ringing up $31k in debt? Blame the debt on destitute, homeless ex-wife Sandra! In fact, Rucki actually cites a court order from Judge Knutson stating he has the right to shift ALL of his personal debt, that he acquired after the divorce, onto ex-wife Sandra. The summons here, filed by attorney Lisa Elliott (who charges $310 to “poor” Rucki living on public assistance) does not include the name or contact information for Sandra’s attorney in the notice. Which means Elliott is manipulating the legal process so that Sandra will not be able to respond, and Rucki will receive a favorable settlement by default.
While David Rucki lives like a king in any one of the 4 fully furnished, beautifully decorated house of his choosing, he is purposefully driving ex-wife Sandra further into debt each day, and attempting to murder her by making it impossible for her to survive… Sandra is living on the street, somewhere.
Judge Knutson should also be held responsible because he willingly took part in Rucki’s scam, that destroyed a family and is costing the taxpayers in the State of Minnesota millions the longer the Grazzini-Rucki case, and Rucki’s “paper divorce” continues. David Rucki “Paper Divorce” Scam
It’s Not Right On Ireland Place
David Rucki is claiming that Dede Evavold is harassing him by posting pictures of his home on Ireland Place, that property is was also previously listed for sale on a realty site and posted online… and has remained online, in public view, for many years. Evavold is not responsible for actions that happened before her criminal trial, Rucki consented to put pictures of his home into the public domain, where they sit today.
The Ireland Place property owned by Rucki has been subject of a mortgage fraud complaint, that Dakota County and the State of Minnesota refuses to investigate.
Rucki put the Ireland Place home in foreclosure 7 times in one year and then bought the home at a rock bottom prices, far below market value.
Read the complaint at this link: mortgagefrauda
Just like the property in Farmington, the Ireland Place property was fully remodeled, listed for sale and then delisted and put back into Rucki’s ownership as part his “paper divorce” scam.
The (former) realty listing describes the luxurious home on Ireland Place: “Pack the bags and bring the family this fantastic 1 owner, 2 story awaits you. Cul-de-sac, walk to schools, Lake and more. Lots of updates, stainless, carpets, paint, gorgeous hickory floors. Quality throughout. McDonald Built!”
Read More: Ireland Place on Zillow
The photos on Zillow are from a prior real estate listing for Ireland Place, MLS #4464616.
Note the family photo on the wall of the Rucki children, by court order of Judge Knutson that was also confiscated and turned over to Rucki. Sandra was not allowed to take even one picture of her children with her when she was removed from her home by order of Judge Knutson in Septmeber 2012. Then Rucki systemically removed every picture of Sandra from the house, every reminder, and through de-programming and reunification therapy has worked to remove Sandra’s memory from the minds of the children who have begged for their mother since the day she was forcefully, and unjustly removed from their lives. All of this done with the consent, and approval, of Judge Knutson who has been enriched by Rucki’s “paper divorce” scam.
Will Rucki File an HRO Against Elizabeth Vargas and 20/20 Next?
Let’s not forget that David Rucki appeared on a nationally televised show, 20/20 with Elizabeth Vargas on two separate occasions where he allowed his house to be filmed inside and out, and allowed filming of the minor children during a private family Christmas. The episode also featured family photos, including those of the minor children, and video footage that Rucki provided to 20/20. 20/20 also included the full legal names of the minor children.
Pictures of Rucki’s home and children were blasted across the country, and went viral, with his consent and now he is claiming his privacy is invaded and he feels harassed??
Rucki also requested the filming of the Grazzini-Rucki criminal case. Again, no concerns for privacy then, and the names of minor children were also made public.
And we are to believe Dede Evavold is to blame? Or to throw out the 1st Amendment to make blogging an illegal activity?
The HRO Rucki filed against Evavold is clearly fraudulent and constitutes legal abuse, if not a malicious lawsuit.
Family crisis is the main reason kids runaway- escaping to the streets to avoid chaos, abuse in their homes… (2015 report, National Runaway Safeline)
Studies reveal that family crisis is the main reason why many kids run away from home. 47% of runaway / homeless youth indicated that conflict between them and their parent or guardian was a major problem. (Westat, Inc. 1997: National Runaway Safeline: Statistics )
Further, a majority of runaways are victims of child abuse. According to another study, “80% of runaway and homeless girls reported having been sexually or physically abused.” (Molnar, et al, 1998: National Runaway Safeline: Statistics)
Findings validate claims raised by the 4 defendants in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial, who raised the affirmative defense stating their actions to help two troubled teen sisters was not criminal, but rather an effort to keep them safe. The Rucki sisters, S.R. and G.R., ran away after learning of a court order that they felt would endanger their lives, on two separate occasions in September 2012 and again in April 2013. Both sisters have asserted, on numerous occasions, that they feared their father and ran away to escape his violence.Rucki social service records
* Four of the Rucki children attempted to run away after their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, was forcibly removed from the home by an unjust family court order, on Sept 7, 2012.
*At the time of the “emergency” court order that September, Judge David L. Knutson acknowledged the sisters had raised allegations of sexual abuse but chose to ignore safety concerns. Judge Knuston determined a mother attempting to protect the children from harm was more of a danger to the children than actual abuse.
* The Rucki children were then placed into the custody of a paternal aunt, Tammy Jo Love, whom they feared. Love had previously lost custody of her own children due to drug problems. The court never conducted a study to determine her fitness to care for children, nor was any motion filed to petition for custody.
* Love went to the elementary school of the youngest children (ages 8 and 10 years old) to inform them of the order, and then left the traumatized children to take the bus home, alone. The two youngest children immediately ran away. The children were found an hour later, having walked over 2 miles alongside a busy road.
* The police report says one of the children asked to see her mom – but was refused due to the court order. The report also said both children indicated that if they go back home, they are “just going to run away,” and said they did not feel safe with Love. After the incident, the children were placed in the care of another relative. http://sunthisweek.com/2015/11/18/son-mom-of-missing-girls-told-kids-to-run-in-2012/
*Just seven months later, this after Judge Knutson personally spoke to the Rucki children and ignored their cries for help, he again court ordered the children into Love’s custody on April 19, 2013.
*This time, the two oldest girls S.R. and G.R. succeeded in running away, and remained in hiding for the next two years. When given opportunities to return home, the terrified teens refused, citing fear of their father.
* The youngest children did not run away because the court recognized the risk, and detained them at school to prevent escape. The court then forced the youngest children into reunification therapy with Rucki even though the GAL noted that they expressed fear, and avoided physical contact with him.
*That the Rucki children currently remain in the custody of David Rucki is no indication of their well-being or safety, especially considering how the family court system has colluded in the abuse of these children and greatly contributed to their suffering.
Among the tragic stories of 1.6-2.8 million American youth who runaway every year, are the 5 Rucki children whose cries for help have been lost in a purposeful cover up orchestrated by Judge David L. Knutson, former family court judge in Dakota County, and assisted by corrupt officials working at every level of government in the State of Minnesota.
When children do not feel safe, and have witnessed domestic violence or been victims to abuse, they are at a much higher risk of running away. Especially when those charged with protecting them, social services and family court, fail to do so.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reports that 21% of runaway youth have a history of physical or sexual abuse, or were afraid abuse would continue if they returned to their home. (Source: Safe Place: Running Away)
Shrieking winds sweep across the prairie, beating against the the luxurious Rucki house, situated at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in a rural suburb. In the dying light of a sun that never seems to shine over this corner of hell, the door remains firmly shut, the blinds drawn …the house remains unusually quiet and shuttered tight, with no sign of life inside.
Carefully choreographed footage from ABC 20/20 shot over Christmas with David Rucki and children offers a rare glimpse inside… it is an awkward scene with blurred faces and forced cheer.
It is painfully obvious that mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, is absent from the festivities. Sandra has been forcibly removed from the lives of her children by abusive ex-husband, David Rucki, and by an unjust court order that prohibits her from having any contact with her children for the rest of their lives. Once a stay at home mother, and primary caregiver, Sandra is now alienated from her children and has not had any contact with them in over 5 years. Sandra spent Christmas grieving for her children. She clings to the precious memories .. and is haunted by thoughts of who they are today.
Elizabeth Vargas and ABC 20/20 portray David Rucki as a whimpering father who says he is victimized by an angry ex-wife who brainwashed the children to wage abuse allegations against him. The truth is more sinister.. it takes just a click of a mouse to reveal what 20/20 failed to report as much of the documentation has been made publicly available on the internet. Did 20/20 manipulate the Rucki story to hide abuse? (Michael Volpe, CDN)
A long history of police reports documents Rucki’s explosive anger, and propensity towards violence. druckipolicereports
The violence continued after David and Sandra divorced, with stalking, threats, and eruptions of Rucki’s rage – that often spilled onto the streets of this otherwise quiet neighborhood.
After the divorce was finalized, Sandra says Rucki terrorized the family, and in one incident, threatened to kill all of them. Soon after that threat, one of the children received a voice mail with the sound of six bullets being fired in quick succession – one bullet for Sandra and each of the children. recorded voice mail messages
The Rucki children bravely came forward to report abuse to many officials who should have protected them but failed to do so – the court appointed Guardian ad Litem, police, therapists, the family doctor, social workers, the family court judge and others.
The court appointed psychologist Gilbertson wrote a letter from Feb. 6, 2013 that stated, “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 the anger they have over his alleged mistreatment and a corollary of this, a belief that their father is morally flawed, i.e. womanizer, drinks too much, and is hiding money.”
Yet time and time again the Rucki children were not protected but rather, sent back into the abuse; and their mother, and only protector, Sandra, was forcibly removed from their lives.
Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and three other co-defendants were criminally charged and convicted for their role for assisting S.R. and G.R. after they ran away in April 2013. This, despite the fact that in Minnesota it is an affirmative defense (subd. 2) to take action to protect a child from imminent emotional or physical harm. Sandra continues to fight for justice, and to clear her name. She is actively appealing her conviction.
Co-defendant, Dede Evavold is actively appealing her case, and has argued (Evavold Appeal 2017) that she was wrongfully charged and convicted of parental deprivation because (p.5), “The affirmative defense did not need to be raised as there was substantial evidence supporting the affirmative defense. The state had all evidence that no crime was committed and that the girls ran away because of abuse...”
For More Info:
In yet another bizarre development of the Grazzini-Rucki case, David Rucki claims that blogging is a threat to his safety, and that of his minor children and filed for a restraining order against Dede Evavold, co-defendant in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial. It should be noted that Rucki’s petition for a harassment order (HRO) did not actually name or specify what blog had allegedly harassed or threatened him. The HRO did not provide any evidence that Evavold was responsible for owning any blog or that she had posted anything about Rucki on social media that constitutes the legal definition of harassment (per 609.748 Harassment Restraining Order).
Without proving actual harassment occurred, and in violation of Evavold’s freedom of speech, Judge Karen Asphaug granted a HRO against her that is effective for 2 years. Ex Parte HRO
There are numerous problems with the HRO granted … including Judge Asphaug’s prior role on a criminal case involving David Rucki, where she was instrumental in dismissing charges that involved physical threats and harassment that he committed against the neighbors.
Another connection is that Judge Asphaug’s husband, David Warg, shares a close professional and social relationship with Judge Tim Wermager, the first judge to preside over the Grazzini-Rucki divorce. A local newspaper article covering the swearing in of Judge Wermager alludes to political alliance, and deals made on the golf course that influence the court system, and judiciary, in Dakota County. Are these forces also at play in the Grazzini-Rucki case?
Judge Asphaug Dismissed Prior Criminal Charge Against David Rucki Despite Overwhelming Evidence of Threats, Harassment
That Judge Karen Asphaug quickly issued a HRO against Dede Evavold with absolutely no evidence to support any of the claims made is a sharp contrast to the role she played in dismissing a serious charge of disorderly conduct against Rucki, that involved harassment and threats. Many of Rucki’s acts were targeted against children. The police report filed from this incident includes remarks from Rucki that suggest he knew that if criminal charges were filed, the court would rule in his favor.
On September 8, 2009, Rucki was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after threatening and harassing his neighbor and swearing at and threatening their children. Police responding to the complaint noted in their report that Rucki tried to intimidate them and referred to the neighbor as a “bitch”. Explosive Expose by Michael Volpe: Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases?
Officer Michelle Roberts writes in her report,”…Suspect (Rucki) told me that he didn’t have to listen to me. I advised him that if he would not allow me to question him regarding the specifics, I would have no choice but to charge him with disorderly conduct based on their allegations.
He stated,’Go ahead, it’s their word against mine and you can’t prove anything.’
I told him I would mail him a citation for disorderly conduct and he would have the opportunity to give his side in court. He responded,’I’m not going to show up for court, this is bullshit.’ He then said,’You guys can get the fuck off my property.’ Suspect approached us two additional times, each time arguing that we couldn’t take their word over his.“
In a supplemental report written by Officer Barb Maxwell, she took a complaint from the neighbor regarding Rucki’s frightening behavior towards his family. Officer Maxwell notes that when she attempted to speak to Rucki, he “..tried to intimidate me. I introduced myself and stated,’I am here because of a complaint on your dogs.’ Rucki got very close to me and said,’There is NO complaint on my dogs‘, and from that point on I was unable to say another word.” Rucki Incident Report 9/8/2009
Judge Karen Asphaug presided over the criminal trial against Rucki and dismissed all charges under unusual circumstances. Journalist Michael Volpe has extensively investigated the Grazzini-Rucki case and writes about these charges against Rucki, and the resulting hearing: “The case came in front of Judge Karen Asphaug and on December 31, 2009 a preliminary hearing was held.
As a result of the hearing, a trial was scheduled for February 8, 2010. But, on the eve of the trial, the defense filed a motion to dismiss for “lack of probable cause.” That motion was granted without a hearing by Judge Asphaug and the case was thrown out.
This is unusual and inexplicable. A motion to dismiss for lack of probable cause is supposed to be heard during the pre-trial hearing. If a trial date is set, that normally means the probable cause standard has been met. Furthermore, given the number of witnesses to the altercation, dismissing for lack of probable cause is even less appropriate.” Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases?
That Judge Asphaug presided over this prior disorderly conduct case against Rucki should have disqualified her from later presiding over the criminal case of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Dede Evavold and the other 2 co-defendants. That Judge Asphaug had knowledge of an incident involving a criminal charge against Rucki, where he was accused of violent behavior, creates a conflict of interest.
Further, this incident with the neighbor should have been allowed as evidence at Sandra’s criminal trial but Judge Asphaug would not allow it in. The neighbor had also written letter to describe his experiences with Rucki,”In our near decade of living next to him I have found him to be a very angry individual rages at anyone who has contention or confronts him. It got so severe against our family that the court awarded us a restraining order in September 2009….
As police reports can verify, he has boldly cursed profanely at, and tried to intimidate Lakeville’s female animal control officer. It is logical to conclude he is capable of more towards those more vulnerable, such as his wife and children.“
Judge Asphaug’s Husband Connected to First Judge Who Presided Over Grazzini-Rucki Divorce
Judge Karen Asphaug is also married to attorney David Warg, who was once a partner in a law firm with Judge Tim Wermager. Judge Wermager was the first judge to preside over the Grazzini-Rucki divorce.
A news article on the swearing in of Tim Wermager suggests that a good ‘ole boys club exists in Dakota County. The article hints that Wermager became a judge because of his political connections. (2008) Wermager sworn in as judge
Notable excerpts from the article include:
(Judge William) Thuet, also a Hastings resident, is a former attorney from the same law firm that Wermager practiced with for many years. In his remarks, he mentioned the connection.
“What do Rex Stacy, Tom Bibus, me, and now Tim Wermager, have in common?” he asked. “We all were in law practice with Jim O’Connell. He’s the judge maker.”
…Thuet was sworn in as judge in 1983 and remembers being told to “do what is right.” He urged Wermager to do the same.
In his remarks, Wermager thanked everyone, including his law partners O’Connell and David Warg, his family, and friends.
“One of the reasons I wanted to have this ceremony here is because of the history here,” Wermager said. “This is where we all started. (Community Room, Hastings City Hall
Wermager said Dakota County is held in high regard for its judicial practices.
“Attorneys like to practice here,” he said. “They are treated fairly and with respect.”
That pattern was begun by Judges Breunig (Robert), Mansur (Martin), and Hoey (George), Wermager noted. It continues today.
In this environment of cronyism and backroom deals how could Sandra Grazzini-Rucki or an of the co-defendants in the criminal trial, including Dede Evavold, ever receive a fair trial? When justice is offered for sale, it ceases to exist as justice and instead sows the seeds of corruption, greed and abuse of power at every level of the system.
HRO: Who is Harassing Who?
Rucki’s filing of a HRO against Dede Evavold seems well timed to silence Evavold from speaking out about her case, and to make an example of her to intimidate anyone else who is posting on social media, or other news outlets, about the Grazzini-Rucki case. There is only one narrative on this case that Rucki endorses – his own.
Second, Evavold has recently filed an appeal on her conviction of felony parental deprivation charges. Evavold Response Brief: Deceptive Dakota County If Evavold’s case is overturned on appeal, she could still be subject to this HRO, which would become another way for Judge Asphaug to throw her in jail for any social media posting… As this HRO has established there doesn’t need to be evidence that Evavold did anything wrong to punish her. The basis of the HRO is quote “blog” posting with no blog named, no threatening statements listed, no acts of harassment cited,no proof Evavold posted anything that constitutes harassment or threats as defined by law. Judge Asphaug has created a situation where she can blame Evavold for any “blog” and charge her with an HRO violation; this is a clear abuse of judicial discretion.
Stay tuned as the Justice Blog continues to expose this harassment order, and other developments in the #grazzinirucki case!
“Footprints in the Snow” or Skating on Thin Ice??
Shocking development from journalist Michael Volpe, who has been covering the Grazzini-Rucki case… ABC’s ’20/20′ tweets misleading information on Rucki story (CDN News)
A recent social media post from ABC 20/20 raises more questions about their portrayal of the Grazzini-Rucki case, which was featured in the episode “Footprints in the Snow”. 20/20 has been criticized for ignoring critical facts, and refusing to include evidence of abuse.
20/20 recently updated, and re-aired “Footprints” at the end of March 2017. By then ABC had ample time to further investigate the Grazzini-Rucki case, and include any information that was omitted in the original episode. They refused to do so. In addition, ABC had been the target of an onslaught of public complaint from viewers who were familiar with the case and recognized critical information was missing or inaccurately portrayed. There have also been news reports published with new information on the case. ABC 20/20 selected information from news sources, such as Sandra’s sentencing, to include in the updated episode of “Footprints” while continuing to ignore evidence of abuse.
In a post dated March 26, 2017, made when 20/20 updated their story, claims “Samantha denies that her father ever hit her.” However, in a police interview from June 2016, she said the OPPOSITE of what the post suggested and “The ABC tweet is even more misleading, given that Samantha Rucki also told Detective Coughlin that her father was pressuring her into recanting prior allegations of abuse…”
E-mail complaints, thoughts and feedback about “Footprints in the Snow” to ABC 20/20 at:
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
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)