Letter to Matt McNeil Show Criticizes Victim Shaming Message, Points to Abuse in Grazzini-Rucki Case

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Reader submits comment to AM950 regarding the Matt McNeil show’s coverage of the Grazzini-Rucki case, stating the station has “lowered its standards” because the broadcast sends a “victim shaming message” to victims of domestic violence.

The comment also addresses Michael Brodkorb’s statement that there is no documented evidence of abuse in the Grazzini-Rucki case by pointing to multiple records that document abuse towards Sandra and the children; further proving that ex-husband/father David Rucki is a danger.

Listen to the interview here: Matt McNeil Show feat Michael Brodkorb 1/30/2018

What YOU Can to Do to Help:

Hold AM950 and the Matt McNeil show accountable for their inaccurate, and false reporting of the Grazzini-Rucki case.

Express your thoughts regarding the broadcast! Call or e-mail the station to demand a public retraction, and apology to Sandra.

Contact:

CHAD LARSON

Station Owner
Tel: (952) 946-8885 ext. 19
Cell: (952) 693-6032
chad@am950radio.com

THE MATT MCNEIL SHOW

Live Monday-Friday: 3PM-4PM
Call-In Line: (952) 946-6205
Email the Show: comment@am950radio.com

_______________________

Hello AM 950 Radio,

I am writing to provide feedback, and additional documentation regarding the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case, which was featured on an episode of the Matt McNeil story with guest Michael Brodkorb. It is very disappointing that AM 950 has lowered its standards to allow a broadcast that promotes re-victimization of victims of domestic violence by expressing support and sympathy to a dangerous abuser and by sending a victim shaming message. Additionally, the broadcast offers false, and misleading information regarding the Grazzini-Rucki case.

Mr. Brodkorb claims there is no documented evidence of abuse and portrays the victim, Sandra as a liar and vindictive ex-spouse. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence of David Rucki’s abuse towards his family, and overwhelming evidence of Rucki’s propensity towards violence, which has spilled onto the streets of our community. It is courageous that Sandra has come forward to disclose the abuse she, and the children have suffered, and worked so hard to protect her children through the legal and court system – fighting all the way to the Supreme Court.

As a credible news organization, I urge you to do your due diligence and review the following documentation of Rucki’s violent behavior:

druckipolicereports 99 page document of Rucki’s violence, threats and stalking against Sandra and children. Additional complaints, and protective orders were filed after Rucki exhibited violent and frightening behavior towards other family members, neighbors, and other innocent members in the community. Police complaints against Rucki, also detailing violent and threatening behavior. Petitions for protective orders. Violations of protective orders.

Page 2 Rucki “...started to argue and swear and one time threatened to get tough with one of our employees. Deft. was asked numerous times to leave the business and he refused. Deft. was asked by police to leave and he refused. Deft. swore and hollered at officers all the way to the jail…

Page 5 Rucki threatened a family member, “I’m coming after you and you won’t see me coming…” And “It probably won’t be me (that will get you). The family member reported feeling fearful and that Rucki will follow through on his threats. He was afraid to file charges for assault because he felt it would only make Rucki angrier.

Page 75 a witness who had a close relationship to the Rucki children says,”I have come to the conclusion that the children have had some type of abuse connected with their father based on my experience and education as a former police detective…

He goes on to say,”Another time I heard Nico say,’I’m sick of being a punching bag for my dad.’

Nia has probably been the most willing to disseminate information but not specific details. For example, ‘my dad does stuff to us that he shouldn’t do..‘”

And, What is most disturbing is that everything the the doorbell or a knock on the door the children flee to their bedrooms in fear that their father David is trying to get in.”

Public Domain Image: WallpaperUP

Page 11 documents an incident involving harassment and threats Rucki made against a neighbor. As a result the neighbor filed for, and received, a protective order against Rucki not only on behalf of his family but also to ban Rucki from the daycare he ran inside his home. If Rucki is not safe around children in the neighborhood, why would he be safe around his own children?

Page 24 the neighbor writes about Rucki,“In our near decade of living next to him (Rucki) I have found him to be a very angry individual who rages at anyone who has contention or confronts him. It got so severe against our family that the court awarded us a restraining order against him in September of 2009…As police reports can verify, he has boldly cursed profanely at, and tried to strongly intimidate, Lakeville’s female animal control officer. It is logical to conclude he is capable of more towards those more vulnerable, such as his wife and children.”  (Also read: Police Report, HRO: David Rucki is Dangerous, Not Safe Around Children)

20 page CPS report detailing abuse allegations against the Rucki children, includes a social worker report from Samantha and Gianna Rucki after they were recovered in November 2015 after going into hiding for 2 years to escape their father’s abuse: Grazzini-Rucki Social Service Records

Page 7 from the social worker report recording her interview with Samantha,”Home life was awful prior to the divorce. They tip-toed around dad and he was physically abusive to her mom. Dad ripped off the leg of the organ and ran after mom. She would have bruises here and there. Dad was rough with Sam on occasion where he would grab her a few times and shook her. He was mostly emotionally abusive. Her dad would make comments like your boobs looking big, he would grab her leg and massage her and this never felt good, it was uncomfortable...”

In regards to the allegations of Parental Alienation, and the children were being brainwashed by Sandra, the social worker report notes further on page 7, from Samantha,”They were told by so many people that they were being brainwashed and needed to be de-programmed. She never felt they were brainwashed...”

Page 7 Social worker notes in her report from Gianna Rucki,“Her dad would stalk the house when they were with mom. He showed anger like ‘I’m going to kill you’. … One time after a hockey game her dad rubbed her inner thigh. Dad shoved mom often…” Gianna also expressed fear of Rucki and stated she does not want to live with him based on his treatment of her, and based on the domestic violence she witnessed. Rather, she would like to have contact with her father when she is ready. Gianna says “she does not feel mom played a role in her thoughts or feelings about her dad“.

-The Dakota County social worker believed the abuse allegations raised by Samantha and Gianna, and during the emergency protective hearing held in November 2015, argued to the court that the girls should remain in foster care for safety reasons, and that Rucki should only have supervised visits with the girls (see page 23 for social worker recommendations)  EPC Hearing Transcript Nov 30, 2015

-It should be noted that Judge Michael Mayer, who returned Samantha and Gianna to Rucki’s custody after the hearing is a close friend of the family court judge presiding over the Grazzini-Rucki case, Judge David L. Knutson. Judge Mayer was also involved in the harassment attorney Michelle MacDonald endured after being illegally detained during the Grazzini-Rucki custody case. At the time Rucki was granted custody of the children, he was on probation for violating a protective order against Sandra. And at the time Samantha and Gianna were placed in his custody in 2015, Rucki was on probation for beating a motorist during a road rage incident. These are not isolated incidents. Abusive behavior involves a pattern of power and control exhibited with violent and threatening behavior. That pattern has been well-established to exist with Rucki.

-In a 2013 audio recording, Samantha Rucki testifies about her father’s abuse and how the family court failed to protect her, and her siblings, from abuse.

The reason why Samantha and her sister ran away, and went into hiding in April 2013, is because they were afraid of their father, and the court was contributing to the harm against them.

She says about her father: “He (Rucki) threw her against the wall (Sandra) and said he was going to kill her but didn’t want to face the consequences…”

He’s (Rucki) lost it on us kids a number of times.. He threw Nia (sister) onto a couch and started choking her, and she’s 11….”

The State’s own witness once wrote a letter criticizing Judge Knutson’s handling of the Grazzini-Rucki case, and was particularly angry that the Rucki children disclosed abuse and the court ignored and suppressed abuse allegations, putting the lives of the children at risk. Potential State Witness Wrote Letter to Judge Knutson – Criticizing Court’s Failure to Protect Rucki Children from Abuse

The witness writes,“In cases like this I have to wonder how our system got to the point that destroying families in today’s society is ok. I think of all of the children that have been murdered by their parents in disputes and I have to wonder how you could put those children in this position. How will you feel if the next time David Rucki loses control, one of these children are severely injured or worse yet dead. In my opinion David Rucki is a loose cannon and you are playing right into his hands.

I sincerely hope that you can look at ALL of the facts of this case, realize that you have made some huge mistakes, allowed other huge mistakes to be made and that you will  someday allow these children to live their lives in the home where they feel protected…”

The letter written by the witness was once publicly posted on the Carver County Corruption blog. The blog was taken off the internet in June 2016 after threats of civil litigation from David Rucki, and his high-buck attorney Marshall Tanick (how does a welfare recipient afford to retain multiple attorneys?!?). It should be noted that Michael Brodkorb has permanently routed all traffic from the Carver County Corruption blog so that potential visitors will instead visit his propaganda blog. This is clearly an effort by Rucki to silence the fact in the case, and those telling the truth.

Multiple witnesses confirm that sisters Samantha and Gianna Rucki were afraid of their father, David Rucki, and both described various incidents of physical and emotional abuse at his hands. The sisters said they felt safe at the White Horse Ranch, and did not want to leave. These statements were revealed in a recent report from an investigator with over 10 years experience in the criminal justice field, who interviewed the witnesses. Witness Reports

As far as Michael Brodkorb, he is not a credible source for information on the Grazzini-Rucki case. His reporting is one-sided and engages in personal attacks, and spreading false information that is so unprofessional it borders on harassment. Brodkorb has an established history working as an attack blogger with a long history of being paid to discredit and smear targets, his “work” (if you can call it that!) on the Grazzini-Rucki case is no different than when he was paid as a political operative.

Michael Brodkorb’s aggressive, and threatening tactics have been well documented –

Multiple articles on Red Herring Alert detail Brodkord’s harassment, slander and attacks against Dede Evavold, all done on behalf of David Rucki: Inverting Reality (Red Herring Alert)

The Art of the Insult

Yellow Journalism

Brodkorb involved in a domestic abuse dispute with his wife: Michael Brodkorb’s Domestic Abuse Report

Retired Army Lt. Col. Joe Repya, described Brodkorb as “a ‘thug’ with ‘an intimidating personality’ who ran roughshod over party members, elected officials and even volunteers…’You have to understand how frightened people within the party became of Michael Brodkorb..The Fall of Michael Brodkorb

Brodkorb also has a reputation for inciting fights within ranks of the Republican party, among his own team , where he was known for screaming fits and personal attacks against others, it said his eruptions could leave fear in his wake..” Michael Brodkorb: Admired, feared and, above all, Republican

That is to say you are putting someone on the air who is equally as out of control, and abusive, as David Rucki. Also note David Rucki has repeatedly threatened his victims that he is coming after them and quote “you won’t see me coming”. Samantha Rucki also stated that her father wanted to kill her mother but didn’t want to face the consequences. It is not a stretch to say that Rucki is using Brodkorb to accomplish his own dirty work.

A victim of domestic violence should never be placed in the position where she is blamed for the abuse inflicted on her. And a mother should never be criminally punished, or publicly ridiculed, for taking actions to save her children’s lives. That Rucki has been allowed to go unpunished for his vicious actions against his family and the community is a stain on Minnesota’s justice system.

I realize that many aspects of this case are beyond the control of AM 950, or that you had no role in what happened to Sandra, and her children. But you can still do the right thing regarding the Matt McNeil broadcast. In light of the following information, I am asking that you immediately issue a retraction and issue a public, formal apology to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. To refuse to do so would only re-victimize Sandra, who has already unjustly suffered so much. And beyond Sandra’s case, failure to act on regards to Matt McNeil’s reckless broadcast will hurt the countless domestic violence survivors who are impacted by all media messages concerning violence – especially those that promote the dangerous behavior, and legal injustices that threaten their lives, and that of their children.

Regards,

The Coalition for Justice

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

Public Domain: goodfon.com

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

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

Share your thoughts in the comments!

________________

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

Date:

Dear

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

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

Background Grazzini-Rucki Case

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

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

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

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

Source: Lion News

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

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

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

Judge Karen J Asphaug

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

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

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

PLEASE RESPOND – Questions Regarding Handling of Grazzini-Rucki Case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Name:

CC:

Brian4Justice@yahoo.com

CC:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Judge David Knutson Retaliates Against Red Herring Alert

Public Domain: https://www.pexels.com

And for anyone who would dare press the complaints and issues beyond the initial “status quo guardians”, demonization, discrediting and economic retaliation are used to neutralize these voices of discontent and dissent…” ~ Don Mashak~ Political Google Site

Breaking News… Corrupt in Dakota County, Judge David L. Knutson retaliates against blogger and co-defendant in the Grazzini-Rucki case, Dede Evavold.

Judge Knutson issued a probation violation summons the very same day Evavold published an article Secrecy Is The Freedom Tyrants Dream Of criticizing the lack of transparency, and accountability in the judicial system.

The article mentioned Judge Knutson as an example, and included copies of a complaint previously raised against him. The article also suggested that Judge Knutson be removed from the bench or impeached.

Judge David Knutson — who has played role both in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial and the divorce of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and David Rucki — issued a probation violation summons against Evavold for publishing articles on a blog called “Red Herring Alert”. The violation stems from a court order prohibiting Evavold to mention the name of the Grazzini-Rucki family in social media for the length of her probation, an estimated 8 years!

Red Herring Alert is a blog that includes contributions from many authors, and there is no evidence that Evavold actually created or published the content in question.

Dede Evavold is not a criminal – she is a wife and a mother, who as a hobby, enjoys writing about current events and political news.

Evavold’s life was turned upside down after being convicted of 6 felonies, and sentenced by Judge Karen Asphaug (November 10, 2016) for felony parental deprivation for her role in assisting two teens S.R. and G.R. who were desperate to escape an abusive father (and paternal aunt) and feared for their lives after the courts and police failed to protect them. S.R. and G.R. openly stated they would run away with or without help and remained in hiding for over 2 years. When given opportunities to return to the care of their father, David Rucki, both girls refused, due to safety concerns. Witnesses say the behavior and emotional state of both S.R. and G.R. is consistent with abuse: Multiple Witness Reports: Rucki Sisters Fearful of Father, Felt Safe at Ranch

Judge David L Knutson

Judge Knutson ignored their cries for help of all five Rucki children and court ordered them into reunification therapy, and then the sole custody of, the identified abuser, father, David Rucki. At the time of the custody order, Rucki was on probation for a violation of a protective order, stemming from an incident involving ex-wife, Sandra. Sandra says she is being stalked, harassed and threatened by Rucki.

Judge Knutson made his ruling despite overwhelming evidence of Rucki’s propensity towards violence, and evidence supporting abuse of the children had occurred. For example, during a “telephonic conference” held on  September 7, 2012, Judge Knutson admitted that he was aware of allegations of sexual abuse involving the girls. Instead of protecting the children, Judge Knutson ordered their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, from the home and worked to reunite the children with their abusive father. Just a few months later, the Rucki children personally met with Judge Knutson in chambers, and disclosed allegations of abuse. Immediately after disclosure, Judge Knutson ordered the Rucki children into visiting Rucki and placed a bailiff at the door to prevent their escape.  Judge Knutson then ordered that the conference with the children be sealed, in an apparent cover up.

Judge Knutson is involved in every aspect of the Grazzini-Rucki case, and acts outside the law in such an extreme way that it could be said that he is David Rucki’s hired thug. Judge Knutson was involved in criminal cases against David Rucki, giving preferential treatment. Judge Knutson was involved in both the the divorce and criminal trial. Judge Knutson assigned himself to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal case and gave her a million dollar bail in Novmber, 2015.  Judge Knutson is also connected to all of the judges appointed to every level of this case – including a connection to Judge Karen Asphaug, who is now presiding over the criminal trials of both Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold.

Dede Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

Dede Evavold has a constitutionally protected right to express her views, and should not be punished for the exercise of her 1st Amendment right to free speech. That Judge Knutson would take these actions against her, and be allowed to do so, shows just how corrupt the courts, and judicial system, in Dakota County really are. 

Beyond that, the public and people of Minnesota should also be expressing concern about the lawless and dangerous actions of Judge Knutson; who has court ordered five children into the care and custody of a dangerous abuser and destroyed the mother who sought to protect them.

That Dede Evavold is speaking out, despite enormous pressure against her to remain silent, and threats of jail, is courageous. To remain silent on this issue would mean complicity in the abuse of the Rucki children, and enable the destruction of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, a loving, mother, who is being persecuted for her efforts to keep her children safe from harm after the family court system failed to protect them.

Hear more from Dede in her interview on Village Connection Radio: DEDE EVAVOLD, PAYING FOR BEING AN ACTIVIST FOR CHANGE

 

Read More About Judge David Knutson:

Commentary: Bailiffs Acting Like Judge Knutson’s Personal Thugs

Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases?

2013 Complaint Against Judge David L. Knutson Alleges Misconduct, Malice

Never Forget: Judge Knutson – Stayed Sentence for Child Rapist

Appellate Briefs Reveal More Shocking Behavior in Rucki Case

** BREAKING NEWS ** From Michael Volpe and PPJ Gazette reporting on the appellate cases of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold

Briefs Reveal More Shocking Behavior in Rucki Case.

“In separate response briefs to pro se attorneys, the Dakota County Prosecutor’s Office has acknowledged jury tampering, misdirected an allegation of witness tampering, and refused to respond to address all allegations of judicial misconduct in the Rucki case.

The briefs from Dakota County Prosecutor James Backstrom were in response to briefs filed by Dede Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, both representing themselves.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom

 

Evavold has been representing herself after the state ruled her too well off to receive an attorney while Grazzini-Rucki was represented but was so disgusted by her attorney’s brief that she filed one on her own.

Her attorney, Steven Russett, who was provided by the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender’s Office, did not respond to an email and voicemail for comment.

In the most startling admission, the prosecutors acknowledge- responding to Grazzini-Rucki- that a reporter approached the jury while they were in a common area during a lunch break and asked if any wanted to be interviewed when the trial ended.

The reporter’s name is Laura Adelmann, who works for the Sun Current, the hometown newspaper of Lakeville, Minnesota, where the Rucki’s live. “There was one occasion during trial in which it was it was reported to Judge Asphaug that a reporter (I.E. Laura Adelmann) had approached the jurors while they were eating in the common area of the courthouse and asked if she could interview them after the trial was over.” Backstrom’s brief stated.

 This incident occurred on Friday July 18, 2016, while the trial was ongoing, and on Monday July 21, 2016, Judge Asphaug issued this statement to the court gallery.

I also received information that a member of the press approached our jurors last week and asked if jurors would be willing to speak after the trial. It is- I am ordering that you may not approach the jurors in the common area of the courthouse. It is- it has a chilling effect. It concerns jurors don’t do it.” An email to Adelmann was left unreturned. A voicemail to her editor, Tad Johnson, was also left unreturned.

Judge Karen Asphaug

Though the trial was covered internationally there was not one story which referred to Asphaug’s statement while the trial was ongoing.

Emails to Karen Zamora and Brandon Stahl, who each covered parts of the trial for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, were left unreturned.

An email to Michael Brodkorb, who has boasted that he covered each day of the trial, was also left unreturned.

Emails to 20/20 host, Elizabeth Vargas, and her two producers, Beth Mullin and Sean Dooley, were also left unreturned; 20/20 covered parts of the trial though it’s not clear if they were there that day.

Beau Berentson said “Our office does not conduct legal research,” in an email.

But when asked if an investigation had been started or if anyone had been disciplined for allowing press to get so close to the jury- a major break in protocol according to everyone this reporter spoke with- Berentson did not respond.

While lawyers who spoke with this reporter said it was unprecedented that press would ever get so close to a jury during trial, they were split on its significance.

Michael McCray, a United States Department of Agriculture whistleblower and lawyer, said he believed that such an interaction would cause all sorts of thoughts to enter a jury’s head “not one will be about the merits of the case.”

Lee Dryer is a Nashville attorney and part-time judge.

No trial is perfect,” Dryer said, but was less concerned since nothing about the case was discussed.

Dryer said he was more concerned with an allegation of witness tampering; Samantha Rucki, Grazzini-Rucki’s daughter who ran away, responded to Kelli Coughlin a Lakeville Police Department Detective, who asked her if she was at a police interview conducted approximately a month before her mother’s trial.

This police interview occurred approximately a month prior to her mother’s trial on June 30, 2016.

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.” Samantha responded when asked if she was at the interview of her own free will.

Judge Asphaug refused to allow the interview into Grazzini-Rucki’s trial, Samantha Rucki testified by Skype, with her aunt, grandmother, and attorney in the same room but not in camera, her father was listening in from outside the door.

David Rucki Facebook April 2016, Public Statement About Missing Daughters

Furthermore, Judge Asphaug would only allow a limited number of questions. Samantha then downplayed the abuse and claimed she ran away to get away from a bad divorce.

Dryer said that having Samantha testify by Skype raises sixth amendment issues, of a defendant confronting their accuser.

Judge Asphaug argued that Samantha was too fragile to see her mother, but child rape victims are forced to confront their alleged rapist if that rapist is to be convicted.

In their response brief, prosecutors argued that since they weren’t directly involved in the witness tampering, they shouldn’t be held responsible.

Appellant (Evavold) fails to detail what misconduct Respondent (Dakota County Prosecutor) engaged in. In support of her argument, Appellant points to an interview that was conducted by law enforcement of SVR (Samantha). Appellant is under the misbelief that Respondent somehow coerced SVR into providing the statement and that SVR lied in the statement.

The prosecutor’s brief only alludes to a police interview but does not detail what Samantha said in the interview.

Dede Evavold also argued that there was judicial and prosecutorial misconduct, charges not answered by Backstrom.

Judge Asphaug placed herself on Evavold’s, Grazzini-Rucki’s, and the Dahlen’s cases, and refused to recuse herself when each of the four defendants asked.

Furthermore, in 2010, she appears to have fixed a case for David Rucki.

On September 8, 2009, David Rucki went into a fit of rage against his neighbors while they were escorting approximately a dozen two and three-year-old children to the daycare facility they ran.

Complainant stated his wife, two children, and six daycare kids ages three and under were in the driveway when suspect (David Rucki) approached. He stated the suspect threatened his wife, his son, and called them all assholes while standing in the cul-de-sac in front of their home. While I was speaking with the complainant, he informed me that the suspect drove by as we were speaking and put up his middle finger on his left hand at him. Complainant said that they have had on-going harassment type issues with the suspect and his dogs as a result of operating a home daycare facility. He said suspect’s dogs repeatedly come into his yard when daycare parents and kids arrive, barking and growling and the guests as the children are dropped off. He said they have tried to talk to the suspect in the past to mediate the situation, but that he no longer feels comfortable due to elevated language and behavior.

Rucki was charged with disorderly conduct and the case came in front of Judge Asphaug. On the eve of trial, Asphaug dismissed the case for a lack of probable cause, an inexplicable decision which has never been explained.

Lack of probable cause applies to cases with little or no evidence not an incident witnessed by several adults and approximately twelve children. Furthermore, if a case is dismissed due to a lack of probable cause it would be during normal pre-trial hearings, not on the eve of trial, and there’s no evidence that any sort of motion was even filed to trigger this.

Asphaug proceeded to exclude approximately 90% of the evidence of abuse: including David Rucki’s police report, all Child Protective Services reports, all orders for protection against David Rucki, and letters, from Sandra Grazzini Rucki’s, Dede Evavold’s, and the Dahlen’s trials.

Backstrom’s office provided answers to most of the charges of judicial misconduct but not all.

For instance, in their reply brief, the prosecution claims that Grazzini-Rucki only referred to three items as being excluded: The Fox 9 Newscast from June 2013, the GPS tracker from when David Rucki placed a tracker under Grazzini-Rucki’s friend and advocate’s car, Michael Rhedin, and Social Services records.

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

But while Grazzini-Rucki did complain about these, and their exclusion is significant, police reports, letters, and other recordings were also excluded; Sandra Grazzini-Rucki complained of clear judicial bias.

The prosecution downplayed in its brief the breadth of the evidence excluded during trial.

Backstrom’s office did not respond to emails for comment.”

ABC 20/20 Tweet About Abuse of Rucki Teen Exposed As Misleading

“Footprints in the Snow” or Skating on Thin Ice??

Shocking development from journalist Michael Volpe, who has been covering the Grazzini-Rucki caseABC’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…

This article uncovers evidence and documentation regarding domestic violence, child abuse, and David Rucki’s extensive criminal history that ABC 20/20 failed to include  in “Footprints”. You will also hear reports from witnesses who had experienced Rucki’s frightening and violent behavior.
None of this was included in the “Footprints” episode.

E-mail complaints, thoughts and feedback about “Footprints in the Snow” to ABC 20/20 at:

elizabeth.a.vargas@abc.com  and  sean.dooley@abc.com

Elizabeth Vargas, journalist and anchor, ABC 20/20

Elizabeth Vargas, journalist and anchor, ABC 20/20

Sean Dooley, Producer, ABC 20/20 (Twitter)

Sean Dooley, Producer, ABC 20/20 (Twitter)

 

 

 

(Nov 2015) Social Worker Recommended – Protective Care for Rucki Girls, Supervised Visits With Father Due to Safety Concerns

Public Domain Image: Pixaby

(Hasting, Dakota County, Minn): Court records reveal that a Dakota County social worker, believed abuse allegations raised by S.R. and G.R.  and fought to keep them in foster care in order to protect them from their father, David Rucki.

EPC Hearing Transcript Nov 30, 2015 (See page 23 for social worker’s recommendations)

During an Emergency Protective Care (EPC) hearing held on November 30, 2015, a Dakota County social worker recommended the Rucki sisters, S.R. and G.R., remain in protective care (for placement in foster care), and that “visitation between the parent and children would remain supervised, the extent and duration of which shall be determined by Social Services”. Parent meaning David Rucki, who petitioned the court that S.R. and G.R. be returned to his care.

The social worker made these recommendation after S.R. and G.R. (p.2-8) recounted allegations of abuse, and described fear of their father, David Rucki. Grazzini-Rucki Social Services File, CPS Records

Reports from the social worker include the following statements shared by S.R. that her father is violent and that “home life was awful prior to the divorce“. Both sisters also reported that Rucki abused alcohol and was often drunk. 

Interviewed S.R. at the foster home on 11/23/2015. S.R. went through the family history with the worker. She was 12 when her parents divorced. Home life was awful prior to the divorce. They tip-toed around dad and he was physically abusive to her mom. Dad ripped off the leg of the organ and ran after her mom. She would have bruises here and there. Dad was rough with S.R. on occasion where he would grab her a few times and shook her. He was mostly emotionally abusive…He drank a lot and was often at bars. Once when they were not living with dad (and were living with mom) there was no more tip-toeing and no more yelling. S.R. said it felt good and she felt free in her own house.” S.R. also added that although people said she was being brain washed and needed de-programming, she never felt that way. S.R. said she would run away if returned to father (David Rucki’s) care.

G.R. shared with the social worker that Rucki took her to bars and threatened to kill the family,”She reports that dad was always screaming at mom. Neighbors called their home the ‘Scream House’. She thought the home situation was normal as she did not know any different. She never had a strong relationship with her dad. He would take her to the bar after dance or hockey. She states a big weight was lifted off her shoulders after the divorce. Mom would have bruises from dad, she would never see this occur but knew it had. She has seen him shove her. She feels her dad was mentally abusive, he was always yelling and ‘it took a toll on all of us’. She states they lived a dysfunctional life.”

G.R. also stated,”Her dad would stalk the house when they were with mom. He showed anger like, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ “ G.R. said she was not being influenced by her mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. Just the opposite – she expressed feeling controlled by her father, and that she is afraid of him. G.R. also said that she will run if returned to father (David Rucki’s) care.

S.R. and G.R. told the social worker that they would not run if they were allowed to remain in foster care, and also agreed to attend school and to go to counseling.

The recommendations of the social worker were supported by both sisters, who were represented by an attorney. The attorney requested that the child protection case proceed, and that safety issues would exist if they were returned to the care of David Rucki. The attorney also argued that sending the sisters to a program out of state is not in the best interest of S.R. and G.R., because there is a risk that they could run away again. The attorney requested on behalf of S.R. and G.R. that they remain in foster care.

What teenager begs to be put in foster care? Clearly S.R. and G.R. were greatly afraid of Rucki. That they would go to such great lengths to be away from him demonstrates the panic and fear that lead them to run away on two separate occasions, going into hiding after running away for the second time on April 19, 2013.

David Rucki

David Rucki

It should be noted that the abuse allegations made by S.R. and G.R. have not changed in all the years of they have asked for help. The consistency of their statements shows they are credible, and not being influenced. In addition there are multiple sources of evidence that support their statements. For example, when G.R. says that her father was “stalking the house” those remarks are validated by an OFP and numerous police reports filed by mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. Video surveillance has also documented the stalking, and recorded David Rucki’s shadowy form appearing at the home Sandra and the children lived in, night after night. In another police report filed in June 2011, Rucki chased S.R. and a group of friends down the street on her birthday. The terrified teenagers ran into a neighbor’s house in fear of their safety. Rucki chased the girls into the house, and was witnessed banging on the door and yelling. Police were called on that occasion and despite Sandra’s pleas to file charges for an OFP violation, police declined stating the children are not covered by the protective order. Even if that were true, Rucki had violated the OFP by coming within 350 feet of the home, and should have been charged.

In addition, David Rucki has a long criminal history that attests to his propensity towards violence. In fact, at the time of the November 2015 hearing, Rucki was on probation for a road rage incident where he followed then brutally beat a fellow motorist, punching him the face and mouth with such force that the victim was knocked to his knees. After pounding the motorist with his fists, Rucki walked away as if nothing had happened and went into a grocery store to do some shopping.  Some of Rucki’s criminal records can be viewed here: http://theeprovocateur.blogspot.com/2016/05/david-ruckis-greatest-hits.html

Judge Michael Mayer, who presided over the EPC hearing, ignored the recommendations of the social worker, as well as the history of abuse. Judge Mayer also ignored the requests of the S.R. and G.R., who were represented by an attorney. Instead of getting the protection and care they so desperately needed, the sisters were shipped out of state to “reunification therapy” under the escort of a security guard. In “reunification therapy” S.R. and G.R. were forced to recant abuse allegations and made to accept being under the control of Rucki, as part of their “treatment”. Judge Mayer acknowledged that the S.R. and G.R. were “angry” with him and would not happy with his ruling. What Judge Mayer could not understand is that the sisters were not angry – they were in a desperate fight for their lives, and their future.

At every level, those who were responsible to ensure the well-being of the five Rucki children (police, court appointed reunification therapist, Guardian ad Litem, judges etc) not only failed to protect them but have created an environment that allows corruption, and judicial misconduct to thrive in Dakota County, setting a dangerous precedent should other courts follow this path of lawlessness.

 

TearsDakotaCounty

 

Note: The surveillance photos documenting the stalking, previous police reports and Rucki’s criminal history were suppressed by Judge Karen Asphaug in the criminal trial of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and not allowed to be submitted as evidence, or presented to the jury. Suppression of evidence made it impossible for Sandra to prove the affirmative defense she raised, and with no other choice, the jury found her guilty of 6 counts of felony deprivation of parental rights.

For more information on Sandra’s conviction, please read:  Sandra Grazzini-Rucki convicted of hiding daughters – The decision came after the judge disallowed the majority of defense evidence