Minnesota Attorney General’s Office Defends Corrupt Judge, Refuses to Intervene in Grazzini-Rucki Case

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.

Minn. Attorney General Lori Swanson (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

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.

Judge David L Knutson

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.

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

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)

ACORN, Payola and Color of Law

Two new issues surface involving attorney general’s office

Attorney General Complaint Letter Capital One

Did Hatch divert money to allies and ACORN in 2006?

Minnesota AG office accused of fraud, politicization, abuse

U.S. House Committee to Investigate MN Attorney General Lori Swanson

 

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Is ABC 20/20 Covering Up Their Own ‘Footprints in the Snow’?

Footprints in the Snow or Wild Goose Chase? ABC 20/20's reporting on Grazzini-Rucki case raises questions about journalistic integrity (Public Domain: http://www.photos-public-domain.com)

Footprints in the Snow or Wild Goose Chase? ABC 20/20’s reporting on Grazzini-Rucki case raises questions about their journalistic integrity (Public Domain Photo: http://www.photos-public-domain.com)

The thing that’s been inhibiting long-form investigative reporting is fear – fear of being sued, of being unpopular, of being criticized by very powerful groups...” –  Eric Schlosser, investigative journalist

__________

As the end of 2016 approaches, and a new year begins, ABC 20/20 makes one last desperate attempt to redeem themselves after host Elizabeth Vargas, and producer Sean Dooley were caught suppressing evidence of abuse in the Grazzini-Rucki case, and portraying the identified abuser, David Rucki, in a sympathetic light at the expense of the true victims – ex-wife, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and children.

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)

ABC 20/20 is scheduled to re-broadcast it’s episode about the Grazzini-Rucki case, “Footprints in the Snow” (originally aired 4/8/2016) to include another interview with David Rucki, and to include updated information on the criminal trial of Sandra. Can we trust the reporting of the Grazzini-Rucki case by ABC 20/20 a second time around with so many errors in the original version of the story?

Let’s examine some additional information that may offer some clues about ABC 20/20, Vargas and Dooley in their reporting of the Grazzini-Rucki case…

#1 Making a Comeback

After Vargas hit rock bottom in her struggle with alcoholism, she needed a comeback to revive her career, and her tarnished reputation. The Grazzini-Rucki story was just that for her.

In January 2014, Vargas was forced to go public with her alcoholism after it was leaked to press. That same year, her husband asked for a divorce, without informing her prior to filing. ABC also put Vargas on notice to stay sober or lose her job. In all, Vargas had entered rehab on 3 separate occasions.

A revealing article by People magazine, published just prior to “Footprints in the Snow” describes Vargas’ struggle with alcohol and includes a statement suggesting that 20/20 had given her “another chance”. Vargas said to People, “I am really lucky, and every day I realize that more because I see so many people who don’t have family and friends who stood by them, or employers that gave them another chance..

What was that “chance”? In the very next paragraph, Vargas tells People about her upcoming story about the Grazzini-Rucki case, “Vargas’ next 20/20 special about a secret network of people who take the law into their own hands and hide children that they believe have been wronged by the family-court system airs April 8 on ABC. ‘I’ve been working on it for months’, she says…‘” Elizabeth Vargas Opens Up About Her Alcoholism (People.com)

The Grazzini-Rucki story has not even been aired yet and Vargas is already spinning the story, and promoting false and misleading information about the the case!  It was not until April 8, 2016 that Vargas interviewed Sandra and David for “Footprints”.

1z2lvye

Secret network? There is absolutely no evidence to suggest a “secret network” was involved in the Grazzini-Rucki case or involved in the disappearance of the eldest two daughters. In fact, both S.R. and G.R. openly admit they ran away due to safety concerns, and raised numerous abuse allegations prior to running away and after being found 2 years later. During all this time, their story is consistent, and does not change.

In November 2015, after being found living on a therapeutic horse ranch, the teens told a Dakota County social worker they would not run away again, and would even go to counseling if needed, so long as they were kept protected from their father, and allowed to stay in foster care. Once again, S.R. and G.R. were desperately seeking a way to be protected from an abusive, and dysfunctional home life with their father. The sisters asked their mother for help in the same way they asked the social worker for help.

An overwhelming body of evidence shows very clearly that abuse, and the belief they would be in imminent danger, IS what caused S.R. and G.R. to run away. Both teens said very strongly that they are not brainwashed, and have asked that their voices be heard and respected.

False allegations like these raised by 20/20 send the message that if you speak up about abuse you will not be believed. Does the public really want to see another episode of ABC 20/20 promoting this dangerous message? A louder message will be sent by those who simply refuse to watch when “Footprints in the Snow” is re-aired.

No criminal charges have been brought against a “secret network” involved in the Grazzini-Rucki case. There is also zero evidence connecting the Grazzini-Rucki case, and those charged in connection with the disappearance of the two eldest daughters, to any other case of missing children. Vargas is inventing a story, which is simply not supported by fact or evidence. Vargas has had over a year to gather this evidence, and still she comes up empty.

#2 Personal Problems

Vargas publicly admits that she suffers from “crushing” anxiety and insecurity that existed since childhood.

Is it possible that Vargas would go to great lengths to please Sean Dooley, and 20/20 because of her own insecurities, and need for acceptance and approval? Did the need to regain acceptance and revive her career cause Vargas to craft this false narrative about the Grazzini-Rucki case?

#3 Projection

Is it a coincidence that in “Footprints in the Snow” that Vargas identifies with David Rucki, a man who has also been accused of having an alcohol problem, and who has hurt his own children due to his drinking, when Vargas publicly admits to the exact same experiences?

somethingshady

David Rucki

Rucki’s criminal history is extensive, and includes being arrested for disorderly conduct back in December 1994. The significance of this arrest is that it shows a long-term problem with alcohol. The police report says Rucki was “heard shouting and screaming“, that he broke a beer bottle and was “asked to leave by staff for his excessive drinking and not having control“. In the personal description of the report police note the following: Appearance – drunk/drugged, Appearance – violent, Speech – foul, Speech – slurred. David Rucki’s Greatest Hits (Criminal Records)

Other records (numerous sources) show that all 5 of the Rucki children also have witnessed their father drunk many occasions. Social service records note that after being discovered living on a horse ranch, S.R. and G.R. were interviewed by a social worker and state that, “both girls talk about dad being drunk at times in the past...” G.R. says her father “would take her to the bar after dance or hockey…Rucki Social Service/CPS Records

In a February 2013 letter from court appointed therapist Dr. James Gilbertson to Guardian ad Litem Julie Friedrich, allegations the Rucki children raised about their father’s abusive behavior and drinking problem is also noted, “There are two prevailing emotional themes these children speak to: One is fear 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 that – a belief that their father is morally flawed i.e. womanizer, drinks too much…Letter from Dr. James Gilbertson to Julie Friedrich about Rucki children

Why did Vargas fail to confront Rucki with documentation proving abuse and safety concerns did exist? NONE of this documentation is discussed in “Footprints in the Snow”; yet it is publicly available and easily accessible.

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

In a parallel story, Elizabeth Vargas has publicly admitted to her own short comings as a mother when she was abusing alcohol and expressed guilt over her behavior. Did Vargas own troubled past cause her to feel sympathy for Rucki, and impair her judgment of the Grazzini-Rucki case? 

In one interview, Vargas said, “her son called her nightly glass of wine ‘Mommy’s juice’.http://people.com/tv/elizabeth-vargas-returns-to-tv-after-rehab-stint/

In another interview, Vargas admits her actions have harmed her children,Vargas doesn’t believe she ever physically endangered her children because she never drove under the influence or behaved recklessly around them. But she said her drinking may have damaged them emotionally.”

Because I didn’t physically endanger my children, doesn’t mean I didn’t devastate them or put them in danger emotionally or psychologically,” Vargas said.https://www.drugrehab.com/2016/09/09/elizabeth-vargas-talks-alcoholism-on-20-20/

Vargas also admits her alcohol problem hurt her children in another interview,”But I couldn’t stop drinking for my children. I don’t know if I will ever forgive myself for hurting my children through drinking — ever. http://www.kare11.com/entertainment/entertainment-tonight/elizabeth-vargas-opens-up-about-intense-struggle-with-alcoholism-and-anxiety-i-was-in-a-death-spin/315652736

#4 Professional Benefits

Another factor that may be influencing 20/20’s coverage of the Grazzini-Rucki case is that the news outlet has a close relationship with the therapist who conducted reunification therapy on the runaway Rucki teens.

Rebecca Bailey, Director of “Transitioning Families”, the organization that facilitated the “reunification therapy” on S.R. and G.R., is a frequent guest and commentator on 20/20. So much so that it is mentioned in her own bio: Transitioning Families – Team

For 20/20 and Vargas to admit that evidence suggests abuse may have occurred or even to raise that possibility would directly contradict the work of Bailey in the Grazzini-Rucki case. It also could undermine the cases where 20/20 had used her expertise.

ladyjusticeb

No matter what the motivations or agenda behind ABC 20/20’s outrageous coverage of the Grazzini-Rucki case are, the impact of the reckless disregard for the truth 20/20 has shown in their reporting has a far-reaching impact.

Corrupt judges and unethical family court professionals should be sent the message that when their actions hurt or endanger children and families, and when their actions overstep their professional mandates, they will be held fully accountable and face reprisal under the law. Instead, 20/20, a major news outlet, in their mishandling of the Grazzini-Rucki case, has worked to justify, and thereby embolden, the pervasive corruption and abuses of judicial power happening widely in the family court system across the U.S.

Those parents, professionals and supporters who raise concerns about what is happening in the family court system are courageous whistle blowers who often take great risks in speaking out.

That ABC 20/20 would falsely label those who raise concerns about the failures of the family court system as extremists, and exploit the tragedy of the Grazzini-Rucki case, is not only wrong but defies the purpose of investigative journalism itself.

 

UPDATE: ABC 20/20 delayed “Footprints in the Snow” and not announced when it will be re-aired. The public has flooded 20/20 with criticism for its biased reporting on the Grazzini-Rucki case, and its suppression of evidence that proves abuse has happened.

Other feedback included first-hand accounts from parents who have been involved in family court proceedings, and shared their own heart-breaking stories.

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

Read More from Michael Volpe’s investigation into the Grazzini-Rucki case: Did 20/20 Manipulate the Rucki Story to Hide Abuse? (CDN, Michael Volpe)

 

Potential State Witness Wrote Letter to Judge Knutson – Criticizing Court’s Failure to Protect Rucki Children from Abuse

Lori Musolf, potential witness to be called by the State in the parental deprivation case against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki wrote a letter to Judge Knutson in May 2013, asserting her belief that the Rucki children were abused by their father, David Rucki, and were “terrified” of him. Lori criticizes Judge Knutson’s handling of the case and desperately prays “that the MN Appellant Court will put a stop to this insanity”.

With such strong beliefs, how did Lori become a potential witness for the State? And with such a drastic change in her story, does she have any credibility?

 

Lori Twit

       Lori Musolf: “I hate corrupt

judicial and social services

may they rot in hell.”

 

Lori describes herself as an “investigator”, “advocate” and “child advocate”. She also claims to have worked with Fox 9 news. Through the Carver County Corruption blog, she began to network with and offer her support to parents involved in family court proceedings. Lori explains in a Twitter post, “Sometimes people have to stand up to corrupt government.”

Lori’s main interest was in exposing perceived corruption in Meeker County. She worked with a group of citizens in these efforts and with the help of Trish van Pilsum from Fox 9, garnered publicity when van Pilsum covered two separate stories based on the Meeker citizen group’s efforts.

Below is a video of Lori hard at work in “exposing corruption” in Meeker County.

 

Lori’s Letter to Judge David Knuston –

You Have Sentenced the Rucki Children       

to a Life of Pure Hell and Danger

Judge David L Knutson

Judge David L Knutson

 

Lori’s letter to Judge Knutson was published on the Carver County Corruption blog in May 2013. Though the blog has been taken down, we were able to get a copy, with screenshots to validate its existence.

 

In the letter, Lori says about the Rucki girls “these young girls are obviously terrified of David Rucki. For these two teenagers to be on the run, obviously they are scared for their lives.”

 

Lori also criticizes Judge Knutson and says that he has made some “huge mistakes”. Lori writes to Judge Knutson “ 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.

Lori also warns Judge Knutson, “In my opinion David Rucki is a loose cannon and you are playing right into his hands.”

 

Lori Musolf Responds to a Cry for Help

From the Missing Rucki Girls

After the Rucki girls ran away from the (temporary) custody of paternal aunt, Tammy Love, on April 19, 2013, they reached out to Lori for help (from the police report generated by Det. Dronen on 8/6/2015), Musolf told me that a day or two after S and G ran away from home, one of them had called her but she didn’t know which one. The girls told her that they wanted to tell their story to the media, and her to try to use her connections to get their story on the news. Musolf stated that the girls would not tell her were they were or give them a phone number to call them back but told her they would call her every half an hour or so to try and arrange an interview.”

 

The Rucki girls did call as promised, and each time they made contact Lori had an opportunity to call the police or notify the authorities on the whereabouts of these two missing children. She could have even made an anonymous report if she had any fear or concern. Lori consciously, and intentionally, chose NOT to make that call, as her phone rang every half hour, she spoke to the Rucki girls, and offered her support.

In May 2013, Lori arranged an interview between the Rucki girls and Trish van Pilsum of Fox 9, (police report),”She was present when the interview was conducted, and has asked the girls when it was over if they were safe, and they told her they were. She saw S and G walking to a fast food restaurant to get picked up when Musolf and van Pilsum left Sauk Center to interview Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.After the interview aired, Musolf assisted the girls by actively promoting their story, sharing web links and speaking out against what she viewed a “corrupt court system” that was responsible for their suffering. As time passed, Lori remained silent on what she knew about the missing girls, protecting them still.

Lori’s Story Changes… with a Little Help from Michael Brodkorb

With such strong beliefs, how did Lori become a potential witness for the State? This means Lori is defending the “corrupt” family court system she once opposed. Why??

According to the police report, on July 24, 2015 Brandon Stahl called Det. Dronen to inquire about updates on the case and discuss a tip that he had received. That tip led police to speak to a witness who then mentioned Lori Musolf by name, and made this statement, “..if Sandra knew where the girls were, Musolf would know as well.” The witness then provided Det. Dronen with Lori’s contact information. But before Det. Dronen could find Lori, Michael Brodkorb had already located her and spoken to her. This is clearly interference in an open police investigation.

Officer Dronen. Source: sunthisweek.com

Lori says in her August 6, 2015 police interview with Officer Dronen that she was once a strong supporter of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki until she started reading articles written in the Star Tribune, and began to doubt the abuse allegations she once defended, “She began to take notice of the case when Brandon Stahl and Michael Brodkorb’s articles began appearing in the Star Tribune.”

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Lori’s doubts were reinforced when she spoke to Brodkorb, what information he shared with her is unknown, (from the police report) “She also stated that she had been contacted by Michael Brodkorb on 8/2/15. While she told me she didn’t tell Brodkorb anything, she stated that it really made her start digging into the case.” 

Lori must have known that her involvement with the Rucki girls could lead to criminal charges. From the police report, ”Musolf told me that she thought the friends (name omitted to protect their privacy) given Brodkorb her number, and she believed they were trying to pin things on her.” Friends gave Lori’s phone number to Brodkorb… keep in mind the lead that led police to these “friends” came from Brandon Stahl.

 

Has Lori made a deal at the expense of the Rucki girls?

Lori has never been criminally charged with her involvement in the case, though she clearly has aided and abetted two runaway teens. 

Edited versions of Musolf’s statement were included in criminal complaints against the Dahlens and were also included in the search warrant application for Dede Evavold. Lori may also be called as a witness to testify against Sandra. Did Lori make a deal to avoid charges?

Lori wrote to Judge Knutson, “David Rucki has a history of domestic abuse witnessed by these same children. How can you possibly think that putting these children’s lives in danger is ok?” Answer that Lori.

Given that the State’s case has largely relied on suppressing  evidence and witness testimony of abuse, stalking and violent behavior from David Rucki, if Lori is called to the witness stand, and this letter is introduced, it may be one of few allegations of abuse, and related documentation, brought to the jury.

That is, if court does not interfere with Lori’s vacation.

Vacation2

http://carvercountycorruption.com/2013/05/20/letter-from-child-advocate-to-judge-david-l-knutson/

 

Letter From Child Advocate To Judge David L. Knutson

Posted on May 20, 2013

 

Dear Judge David L. Knutson,

 

As an advocate I am appalled at your court orders involving the Rucki case. I cannot fathom why you think teenagers have no choices in their lives, especially children who believe their lives are in danger. I hope you watched the Fox9 report on the Rucki case. I would like to point out a few things that I believe you may want to think about.

 

First, these young girls are obviously terrified of David Rucki. For these two teenagers to be on the run, obviously they are scared for their lives.

 

Did you notice how obvious it was that David Rucki knew exactly what conversation the girls talked about concerning the threats of him shooting them?

Quotes from the fox9 story “The Rucki girls told FOX 9 their father sat them down at the kitchen table and threatened to shoot them and their mother.” David states, “What I think I said is, ‘What do you want me to do? Put a bullet in my head so you don’t have to deal with this?’”

Think? He obviously was in a rage during this conversation.

 

David Rucki has a history of domestic abuse witnessed by these same children. How can you possibly think that putting these children’s lives in danger is ok? What could you possibly be thinking?

 

David Rucki said the Rucki case file is the biggest in Dakota County Family Court. Is he proud of this? Why would he even elaborate on that if he didn’t take some pride in it? Former owner of Rucki trucking? I hope his employees found this amusing and come forward.

 

Second, David Rucki’s attorney Ms. Elliot claims, and I quote from the Fox9 story, “He probably did have a short temper. There were five kids. Things get crazy. Did he ever harm them? No,” said Elliot. “Maybe he didn’t try hard enough to stay in contact with them when this was going on thinking if things would calm down, it would go back to the way it was — but it went in the other direction.” He probably did have a short temper. Obviously he did if he is talking about shooting himself in the head. “There were five kids. Things get crazy.” Wow, really? I have five children and four grandchildren and nothing in my home has been crazy enough to allow me to be violent or threaten my children. Ms. Elliot also stated, “Did he ever harm them… No” How could Ms. Elliot possibly know this? Was she there? Unbelievable that someone in the field of law could make such ridiculous statements as if they were facts. I believe Ms. Elliot has done this repeatedly throughout this case. Such a sad case when a judge allows someone like Ms. Elliot to conduct herself in this manner. Is Ms. Elliot the person running the show making you look like a fool?

 

Ms. Elliot goes on to state, “”They tried three different therapists or professionals in the Twin Cities to try reunification while the children were still living with their mom and it just didn’t work,” Do you really think that reunification with a threatening abusive person should work? These children are terrified of this man and they know that neither you or the therapists on this case will listen and have sentenced them to a life of pure hell and danger. This is absolutely appalling. How can you sentence these children to this life?

 

Third, Mr. Reitman reeks bias in this case. How can he even consider the fact that only the mother has created parental alienation? Have you heard the audio’s of David Rucki’s messages to his children blaming their mom for everything? What is even more appalling is the fact that what I would refer to as a “hired gun”, Mr. Reitman, believes that children should be forced to visit with a father, even if sexual abuse is an issue, because of lack of evidence. Are children supposed to say, “Hold on dad, I have to get the video camera to record this as evidence?” I can only hope the sexual abuse advocates go after any license this monster holds. I would say this story exposed Mr. Reitman for what he is……a monster!

 

Last but not least…. Shame on you for allowing this family to be torn apart by your orders. Shame on you for forcing children into a relationship with a father they are terrified of. Shame on you for forcing these children to make the drastic decision to go on the run in order to protect themselves. Shame on David Rucki for threatening these children and helping to destroy their lives with his continuing insane actions. Shame on Ms. Elliot for allowing any of this and defending this father. Shame on Dr Reitman for his sadistic beliefs. Shame on our judicial system for not making all of you accountable for your actions.

 

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. How can you possibly think that putting children in danger is the thing to do? I can’t even begin to wrap my head around your reasoning. I can only pray that the MN Appellant Court puts a stop to this insanity.

Sincerely,

 

Lori Musolf

Child Advocate

(Screen Shots of Letter Below)

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(2011) Witness Says: David Rucki is a Very Angry Individual Who Rages… Expresses Concern for Sandra and Children

A witness (name omitted to protect privacy) to David Rucki’s abusive and violent behavior wrote a letter in 2011 (below) to share some of his experiences, and to voice concerns for the safety of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the children.

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This letter supports the concerns raised by Sandra and supports the allegations of abuse raised by the Rucki children, who report a similar pattern of abusive and threatening behavior from David.

 

The witness reports that he felt so frightened of David Rucki that he applied for, and received, a restraining order in 2009: (2011) Judge Knutson Orders Reunification Therapy with David Rucki and Children, while HRO in place

Also note that the witness  heard David verbally abusing Sandra on a cell phone call, and “He truly berated her about being a poor mother“. This behavior matches the verbal abuse heard on voicemail messages that David left to his teenage son, Nico. The voicemail messages also include comments denigrating Sandra, and criticizing her ability to care for her children. That means you have two independent statements, from two different times, describing the SAME behavior from David. Rucki Enraged: Voicemail Transcripts Reveal Threats, Emotional Abuse Against Son

The witness also says “As one who does biblical counseling, I am convinced he (David Rucki) needs anger management treatment.” In fact, David was ordered into anger management on numerous occasions.

Judge David Knutson awarded David Rucki sole custody of the 5 children in November 2013, despite a long  history of abuse, rage and anger problems present in David. Just 7 months later, in June 2014, David was so offended by a fellow motorist that he stalked a vehicle, waited until the motorist got out of his car, and brutally beat him.  David was convicted of disorderly conduct and referred to anger management again.

See Condition #4 – Anger Management

Almost a year later, in November 2015, the Rucki girls are “recovered” after running away from the abuse, and dysfunction that their father brought into their life.  The girls bravely reported the abuse, and clearly stated that they are afraid of their father, and  would prefer to remain in foster care.  And at the time, David was still on probation for the road rage conviction – which should have demonstrated that he posed a risk of harm to the children.

Yet the Courts continue dismiss the Rucki girls’ concerns, and push for reunification therapy aka reprogramming. What kind of “therapy” forces children to live with an abuser, and forces children to accept abuse without question, to just take it?

I am pointing all of these facts out to show you, the Reader, that multiple sources, across time, describe the SAME kind of abusive and violent behavior from David Rucki. Clearly he has a propensity towards violence.

REMEMBER:   Domestic Violence manifests as a re-occurring pattern of behavior to maintain power and control over a partner or children and/or other family members. The presence of fear or trauma in a partner or in children is a telltale sign that abuse has occurred in a family.

Helpguide.org: Domestic Violence and Abuse – Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships

Is this a case of “parental alienation”?

Think about it… David Rucki has a documented history of anger problems, rage and violent behavior with related criminal charges, and police involvement, going back at least 16 years (figuring the witness said a “decade” of living next to David)!

Why won’t the Courts listen to the Rucki children? All they are asking for is to live in a safe home, free of violence. Is that too much to ask? 

When home doesn’t feel like home anymore… (Public Domain: http://www.pd4pic.com)

Please also read Michael Volpe’s investigation into the Grazzini-Rucki case, the history of abuse, and how this case was handled by the family court system for additional information, and insight: Chaos and horror after courts step in for Rucki family by Michael Volpe, Communities Digital News

Multiple Witness Reports: Rucki Sisters Fearful of Father, Felt Safe at Ranch

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. 

Read the report in its entirety here: Witness Statements – Rucki Sisters at White Horse Ranch

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com

Findings include the following:

  • Samantha and Gianna Rucki did not conceal their identity while staying at White Horse Ranch, and “stayed openly” using their legal names. The sisters frequently went shopping in town, and had their hair done at a local salon. They went to eat at nearby restaurants, attended church and on birthdays, people would come to the Ranch to celebrate with the girls.
    • Samantha and Gianna were free to leave the Ranch at any time, and both had access to phones and computers. Keys were also left in vehicles that the sisters had access to. The sisters were told they could leave at any time. The sisters reported that they stayed at the Ranch because they felt safe, and were being cared for. Samantha and Gianna also stated that they did not want to return to the home of their father, David Rucki, due to his violent and abusive behavior and would run away if returned his care. 
    • Samantha and Gianna had emotional and behavioral symptoms suggestive of abuse including: nightmares, afraid to be touched, were quiet and guarded, would cry when talking about their father or his abusive behavior, and their facial expressions and body language conveyed fear to those who saw them.
    • Specific instances of abuse were also mentioned including: They saw their father (David Rucki) choke their mother (Sandra Grazzini-Rucki), and he threatened to kill their mother. In another allegation, David Rucki threatened to kill their mother and them himself. The girls also said their father had physically and emotionally abused them, and showed a gun to them, inflicting fear. The girls reportedly said they “can’t live with him” meaning their father.
    • By all accounts, Doug and Gina Dahlen (White Horse Ranch) provided a safe, nurturing environment for Samantha and Gianna Rucki. One witnessed described White Horse Ranch as “a ‘safe place’ for children (and others needing help) where they can be open, listened to, encouraged to be themselves, grow in their faith, learn new skills, and find therapeutic relief in interacting with the animals”. 

It should be noted that the reports made by Samantha and Giana Rucki to these witnesses are consistent with other reports the girls made to therapists. police, CPS, close friends and court professionals in the past – and matches also reports made recently after being “recovered”. The Rucki sisters have not changed their story in all the years they have cried out for help.

(Bing) The entrance to White Horse Ranch

 

“He’s lost it on us kids a number of times..” Listen here to testimony from 14 year old Samantha Grazzini-Rucki describing the physical and mental abuse she has experienced from father, David Rucki, and the beatings she witnessed her mother endure.

Samantha also talks about the unprofessional conduct of the professionals involved in her family court case, and how she was “threatened with juvenile detention centers” if she did not comply with their demands . Samantha says the family court is not respecting her wishes, and not listening to her concerns of abuse, but instead has called her a “liar” and traumatized her.

Samantha also talks about the pain she has felt being separated from her mother “for absolutely no reason“. Samantha says “all I want is to live with my Mom” and “she is nothing but our rock…” and begs “Please let us live with our Mom and be happy…

Footprints in the Snow or Wild Goose Chase? Did ABC 20/20 Edit Audio Recordings to Suppress Evidence of Abuse in the Grazzini-Rucki Case? Pt. 1

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Source: http://www.photos-public-domain.com. This picture is free for any use.

 

Did ABC 20/20 edit audio recordings of David Rucki verbally abusing his young son, to portray him in a more sympathetic light? And what message does their reporting send to abuse victims, to child abuse victims?

Footage from “Footprints in the Snow” suggests that ABC 20/20 and reporter Elizabeth Vargas drastically edited a recording of David Rucki leaving an angry voicemail message to his teenage son, and omitted the rest of the recording that would show that David was emotionally abusive, denigrating the mother. The recordings are part of a series of voicemail messages, one message included the sound of 6 gun shots (one for each family member).

The Justice Blog will present you with 20/20’s coverage and additional information that was not included in the episode.

Investigative journalist Michael Volpe, of Communities Digital News, has also written an article that will provide additional information, and insight: Did 20/20 Manipulate the Rucki Story to Hide Abuse? Michael Volpe (CDN)

 

Where Footprints Lead

The sequence of events in “Footrprints in the Snow” begins with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki describing to Elizabeth Vargas an incident when David Rucki violently assaulted her. Sandra says that David broke into the house, jumped on the bed and started choking her. He also tried to suffocate her with a pillow.

What 20/20 does not say is that Sandra was so afraid of David that she later installed security cameras around her home because of his violence. Security cameras captured David stalking her on numerous occasions. Neighbors were also afraid of David due to his violent behavior, and has also installed security cameras around their own home, and filed a harassment restraining order against him.

David Rucki Stalking Photos, Police Report

Information about HRO filed against David Rucki by a neighbor

 

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Elizabeth Vargas, ABC 20/20 Anchor, Journalist. Source: http://88-celebrity.blogspot.com

 

The next scene is an image of five smiling Rucki children, taken at Christmas, posing with Santa. Sandra is standing at the left side of the picture. David is absent. The photo is not dated, nor is any context given.

 

Vargas says, “The children now ages 8-14 now remain in Sandra’s custody and refuse to even see David; rebuffing all of his attempts to connect.” Note” Vargas is reporting ONLY David’s perspective, that of Sandra and the children is excluded.
The next scene begins with the image of a telephone key pad, you hear the ping of numbers being dialed. Viewers are given just tiny bits of audio of David saying, “This is your Dad, call me. I would like you to call me back.” These two lines are a tiny piece of a larger body of recorded voicemail messages, and a transcript of those messages that David left for his son, Nico. The tone of these messages is clearly threatening, hostile and verbally abusive. Yet you’d never know that if you solely relied on ABC 20/20 and Vargas’ reports.: recorded voice mail messages
Vargas says in a dramatic tone, “With his children ignoring him, his frustration mounts…”
Note: Vargas adopts David’s term “frustration”. David uses this term frequently to describe his angry and abusive behavior.

Keep in mind these are children who has witnessed their father violently assault their mother and had reported numerous acts of emotional and physical abuse – leaving comments on social media, making reports to therapists, GALs, Judge Knutson, police, social workers, CPS, friends. The story that Samantha and Gianna Rucki have recounted about the abuse has not changed – those they encountered after they ran away recall that the girls appeared frightened of their father, spoke of abuse, and their behavior itself indicated abuse occurredMultiple Witness Reports: Rucki Sisters Fearful of Father, Felt Safe at Ranch/

In another report involving abuse, CPS reports from the Rucki girls indicate they were victims of abuse from their father. And had witnessed various forms of physical and emotional abuse inflicted on their mother, and saw visible bruises. Nico also reports to CPS that his father put a gun to his head.The CPS system also failed the Rucki children by screening out multiple reports of abuse.: https://www.scribd.com/doc/316692570/SamiRucki

CPS screened out many of the reports of abuse. Other professionals ignored or minimized the children’s cries for help. And then Sandra became the target – instead of investigating the abuse, Sandra was wrongly accused of brainwashing her children so they would invent allegations of abuse against their father. The message in this – the children are being told their concerns are not valid, and that something is wrong with them for reporting abuse.

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