“I am asking the Court for this additional relief to clarify and extend the Order (the existing OFP) to keep the children and I safe. David has already plead guilty to violating the Order, and has engaged in criminal conduct that may well result in another criminal charge for an additional violation. He believes he is above the law and no one can stop him. I am pleading for the Court to send a strong message that this behavior has to stop, and that the Order for Protection has meaning and should be taken seriously.” – Amended Petition for Order for Protection, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, November 2011
To better understand the devastating effects of the abuse David Rucki inflicted on his children, this article will share a police report from June 24, 2011 from a first person perspective. The “perspective” is based on the actual police report as well as other publicly available documents that disclose abuse, and record allegations of abuse made by the Rucki children in their own words.
A police report from June 24, 2011 details an incident where David Rucki yelled at, and chased his teenage daughter S.R. and her friends down the street on her birthday. (see page 60) druckipolicereports
See here more evidence suppressed by Judge Karen Asphaug at the criminal trial of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki:
*Police reports made against David Rucki for violating protective order, and other criminal behavior
*Surveillance photos documenting David Rucki stalking Sandra and children
*Suppressed CPS reports, social service records documenting abuse https://www.scribd.com/doc/316692570/SamiRucki
*Judge Asphaug also suppressed was witness testimony from an individual present at this incident, and who had observed other abuse Rucki inflicted on his family
75% of defense evidence was withheld during the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial. The jury was never allowed to consider evidence raised by the Defense, supporting the affirmative defense: It is an affirmative defense if a person charged under subdivision 1 proves that:
(1) the person reasonably believed the action taken was necessary to protect the child from physical or sexual assault or substantial emotional harm…. https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=609.26
Without evidence to support a “reasonable belief”, and given instructions from Judge Asphaug that were both misleading, and manipulative, the jury found Sandra Grazzini-Rucki guilty on 6 counts of deprivation of parental rights. If the jury knew of this incident, and made aware of other evidence, would the outcome have been different? And would the outcome had been different had the jury know that Judge Asphaug presided over a previous domestic violence complaint against Rucki, and dismissed it?
Lakeville, Dakota County, Minnesota (6/24/2011):
Happy Birthday! S.R. walked down the cul-de-sac at Ireland Way with a group of giggling, excited teenage girls looking forward to a slumber party, and a night of fun. The house was decorated with banners and balloons, gifts were beautifully wrapped for her special day. The deep rumble of a motor followed by a harsh voice yelling her name tore through the warm summer day like a thunderbolt. She turned her head to see her father pulling up alongside the girls, yelling and swearing at her.
Her heartbeat hammered in her chest so fast she feared it would take off, seeking escape from her father’s anger. Since the divorce, things were so much calmer at home, she actually enjoyed being there… without having to deal with his rage, his flying fists, the ugly words he screamed at them…he hurt her mother and made her cry. But he didn’t stay away. After the divorce, in May, he tore through the house, and refused to leave when asked. He was yelling and screaming, threatening, ripping pictures off the wall. He drove up and down the street all hours of the day at night. He watched the house. He left angry voice mail messages. Just a few days ago, he was at the house again, stealing mail from the mailbox.
Ignoring him didn’t help. She told her father that she did not want to see him. He would not listen. You couldn’t pretend that everything was fine when it felt like your heart was breaking into a million pieces. When you were trying to hide the secret that made you so different from your friends. When you couldn’t hold up the fake smile anymore because the tears kept falling. Ignoring him just made him madder – and now he was here, on her birthday, without a present or a card, instead yelling – swearing – scaring her friends – ruining everything.
Giggles gave way to shrill, girlish screams. The word “run!” was a collective cry, one voice could not be distinguished from another. Run but where? The cul-de-sac had one way in and one way out. Only one way.
She remembered dressing up for her party, pulling her hair back in a pony, wondering if Mom would let her wear make up… now her feet slapped against the pavement, mud staining her sneakers. Her hair tore loose, and tangled at her shoulders. The girls grabbed at each other as they ran, tumbling into the nearest house. Her pretty outfit was ruined. Her friends were scared. And everyone was looking at her like they knew, all along, the ugly secret she tried to keep. As if windows could shut in the the threats, the yelling, the crashing sounds coming from the “Scream House” night after night. Her friends knew, and they were terrified. The door rattled as her father came up to the house, slamming the screen door open and pounding his fists on the door. He shook the door handle, trying to pry it open. Someone called the police. Someone hid. Someone called Mom. She ran into the pantry, sobbing. It was all happening so fast.
She wanted Mom to hug her and tell her everything would be okay. But she knew that wasn’t true. Lakeville Police had arrived, they looked over the court order that was supposed to protect them from her father… and said it did not cover her, a child. The judge had crossed the names of the children out on the OFP application. Mom said the order for protection meant that Dad could not be so close to the house, he was in violation. She wanted to press charges but the police officer told her to go back to court, he couldn’t do anything. No charges would be filed. And the officer certainly could not fix her birthday party – and now her friend’s parents now said they didn’t feel it was a good idea to have a slumber party. The parents didn’t feel safe that their children were at her house, the “Scream House”. Mom begged until they agreed to come over for cake. All she saw when the candles were lit was the flashing blue and red of police lights. By then the cake had melted, the pink frosting felt too sticky and choked in her throat.
One of the victims involved in this incident declined to file a police report, stating they are afraid David Rucki will retaliate against them.
Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s application for an Order for Protection for her 5 minor children was denied on June 30, 2011. David Rucki continued to violate the OFP, and continued to harass, intimidate and stalk his family.
David Rucki violated the Order for Protection granted to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on June 22, 2011 on two separate instances, and plead guilty to one incident on September 19, 2011.
Family court Judge David L. Knutson awarded David Rucki sole custody of the 5 children despite overwhelming evidence of his abusive, and violent behavior. The children’s fear of Rucki is directly related to his behavior towards them. When awarded custody, Rucki was probation for a charge that resulted after he violated an OFP. Judge Knutson has actively worked to cover up the abuse allegations in the Grazzini-Rucki case, and has even dismissed criminal charges against Rucki.
Sandra continued to petition the Court for help, and raised abuse allegations in the custody trial – at every level, those who had the power to protect the Rucki children failed, and enabled the abuse to continue.
Judge David L Knutson