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
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Subject: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Family Court, Child Support, Criminal and Appellate Cases
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).
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.
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,
Elizabeth Vargas-20/20 host firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Dooley- producer 20/20 email@example.com
Beth Mullen- 20.20 producer firstname.lastname@example.org
Beau Berentson, public affairs officer for the Minnesota Courts – email@example.com
James Backstrom, Dakota County Prosecutor – firstname.lastname@example.org,
Monica Jenson, public affairs officer for the Dakota County Prosecutor – email@example.com
Marybeth Schubert, public affair officer for Dakota County – firstname.lastname@example.org
Attorney General for Minnesota – email@example.com
Dave Oney, public affairs officer for the US Marshals Minnesota Court of Appeals (651) 296-2581 – firstname.lastname@example.org