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

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

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

*the history of domestic abuse in the Rucki family

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

Family Crisis Main Reason Children Run Away

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

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

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

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

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

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

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

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

The Criminal Appeal: Conviction Upheld

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

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

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

Judge David L Knutson (Source: Twitter)

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

The Criminal Appeal: Sentencing Overturned

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

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

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

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

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

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

Public Domain Image: Pixaby

 

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Homeless, Destitute Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Ordered to Pay Nearly $1k Month to Millionaire Ex Husband

The latest coverage on the #grazzinirucki case from journalist Michael Volpe….

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki maybe homeless, jobless, and penniless but that doesn’t mean should not be paying child support to her multi-millionaire ex-husband.

The court acknowledged that Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is currently earns no money but used the concept of imputed income to justify its ruling.

Imputed income allows judges to base child support based on an income level the judge deems is reasonable even if the party is not currently earning that living.

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That was the peculiar ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals authored by Judge Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks.

Judge Halbrooks upheld a decision by Judge Maria Pastoor of the Minnesota’s First Judicial District who ordered Grazzini-Rucki to pay her ex-husband, David Rucki, $975 per month in child support.

Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks

David Rucki is a multi-millionaire who received 100% of the marital estate along with sole custody of their five children in an even more bizarre ruling by Judge David Knutson.

Judge David L Knutson

Pastoor’s original ruling was even more bizarre because she made the ruling while Grazzini-Rucki was incarcerated for helping to hide her two oldest daughters after David Knutson forced them into the custody of her ex-husband’s sister, who the two girls insisted was abusive to them.

Grazzini-Rucki argues that the CSM erred by imputing potential income to her because the CSM (1) disregarded her actual income, (2) failed to make a proper statutory analysis, and (3) improperly adopted a level of income determined by the district court in a prior order. A CSM must calculate a parent’s income based on her potential income.” Judge Halbrooks stated in the order, justifying how a homeless woman can be forced to pay child support.

Judge Halbrooks continued: “Grazzini-Rucki asserts that she had no ability to pay child support because her employment with the airline was ‘in flux’ and that the CSM made ‘vague, generalized and conclusory findings’ that did not justify imputing income under Minn. Stat. § 518A.32, subd. 1.5 But these assertions misconstrue the record, particularly the evidence admitted during the September 2016 hearing. The CSM found that after Grazzini-Rucki was released from jail, she submitted a document in March 2016 that stated that she currently worked as a flight attendant Grazzini-Rucki testified, and the CSM acknowledged, that her status of employment was unknown at the time of the September 2016 hearing. But Grazzini-Rucki did not provide any evidence that her employment status had changed or that her employment had been terminated after March 2016.

While Grazzini-Rucki is technically still employed by American Airlines she is not allowed to earn any money unless and until her felony convictions are expunged.

The court acknowledged that Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is currently earns no money but used the concept of imputed income to justify its ruling.

Imputed income allows judges to base child support based on an income level the judge deems is reasonable even if the party is not currently earning that living.

In this case, Judge Pastoor and Judge Halbrooks have concluded that, despite having six felonies on her record, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki should be able to find work which pays her in excess of $40,000 per year.

Sandra Grazzini and her ex-husband David Rucki owned a trucking company during their marriage which generated millions in income, but Judge David Knutson, who presided over much of their divorce, ordered David Rucki to get 100% of their marital estate while ordering Sandra Grazzini-Rucki to pay child support after he also ordered sole-custody to go to David Rucki.

Judge Knutson ordered David Rucki to receive sole custody despite overwhelming evidence he is violent:  a bar fighta road rage incidentincidents of stalkingmultiple violations of restraining orders and choking his wife.

A child protective services report stated that his son, Nico, claimed that David Rucki stuck a gun to his head when he was eight years old.

Screenshot ABC 20/20

To add insult to injury, Lisa Elliott, David Rucki’s attorney, filed a motion on August 15, 2017, asking for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki to pay for all the filing fees- $3563 in total- which Elliott accrued since entering the case in 2011.

Attorney Lisa Elliot. Source: redherringalert.wordpress.com

Elliott did not respond to an email for comment.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and David Rucki reached what appeared to be an amicable divorce in May 2011, with David Rucki representing himself.

The judge who initially signed the divorce decree, Judge Tim Wermeger, even stated: “The parties were able to settle all issues arising out of the dissolution of the marriage including: child custody and support, spousal maintenance, disposition of real and personal property, and the payment of debts and attorney fees.”

Lisa Elliott joined the case a month after this divorce decree- which is supposed to end a divorce- was signed and the divorce has gone on in perpetuity since her arrival.

Judge David Knutson placed himself on the divorce shortly after Elliott’s arrival; Elliott and David Rucki claimed he was somehow defrauded in the initial eleven page divorce decree.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals would not make Judge Halbrooks available for an interview, saying she cannot discuss her cases.

Beau Berentson, public affairs officer for the Minnesota Court System, did not respond to an email for comment.