Family Crisis Main Reason Children Run Away – Studies Validate Arguments Raised in Grazzini-Rucki Defense

Family crisis is the main reason kids runaway- escaping to the streets to avoid chaos, abuse in their homes… (2015 report, National Runaway Safeline)

Studies reveal that family crisis is the main reason why many kids run away from home.  47% of runaway / homeless youth indicated that conflict between them and their parent or guardian was a major problem. (Westat, Inc. 1997: National Runaway Safeline: Statistics ) 

 Further, a majority of runaways are victims of child abuse. According to another study, “80% of runaway and homeless girls reported having been sexually or physically abused. (Molnar, et al, 1998: National Runaway Safeline: Statistics)

Findings validate claims raised by the 4 defendants in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial, who raised the affirmative defense stating their actions to help two troubled teen sisters was not criminal, but rather an effort to keep them safe. The Rucki sisters, S.R. and G.R., ran away after learning of a court order that they felt would endanger their lives, on two separate occasions in September 2012 and again in April 2013. Both sisters have asserted, on numerous occasions, that they feared their father and ran away to escape his violence.Rucki social service records

 

Background:

* Four of the Rucki children attempted to run away after their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, was forcibly removed from the home by an unjust family court order, on Sept 7, 2012.

*At the time of the “emergency” court order that September, Judge David L. Knutson acknowledged the sisters had raised allegations of sexual abuse but chose to ignore safety concerns. Judge Knuston determined a mother attempting to protect the children from harm was more of a danger to the children than actual abuse.

* The Rucki children were then placed into the custody of a paternal aunt, Tammy Jo Love, whom they feared. Love had previously lost custody of her own children due to drug problems. The court never conducted a study to determine her fitness to care for children, nor was any motion filed to petition for custody.

* Love went to the elementary school of the youngest children (ages 8 and 10 years old) to inform them of the order, and then left the traumatized children to take the bus home, alone. The two youngest children immediately ran away. The children were found an hour later, having walked over 2 miles alongside a busy road.

* The police report says one of the children asked to see her mom – but was refused due to the court order. The report also said both children indicated that if they go back home, they are “just going to run away,” and said they did not feel safe with Love. After the incident, the children were placed in the care of another relative. http://sunthisweek.com/2015/11/18/son-mom-of-missing-girls-told-kids-to-run-in-2012/

*Just seven months later, this after Judge Knutson personally spoke to the Rucki children and ignored their cries for help, he again court ordered the children into Love’s custody on April 19, 2013.

*This time, the two oldest girls S.R. and G.R. succeeded in running away, and remained in hiding for the next two years. When given opportunities to return home, the terrified teens refused, citing fear of their father.

* The youngest children did not run away because the court recognized the risk, and detained them at school to prevent escape. The court then forced the youngest children into reunification therapy with Rucki even though the GAL noted that they expressed fear, and avoided physical contact with him.

*That the Rucki children currently remain in the custody of David Rucki is no indication of their well-being or safety, especially considering how the family court system has colluded in the abuse of these children and greatly contributed to their suffering.

Among the tragic stories of 1.6-2.8 million American youth who runaway every year, are the 5 Rucki children whose cries for help have been lost in a purposeful cover up orchestrated by Judge David L. Knutson, former family court judge in Dakota County, and assisted by corrupt officials working at every level of government in the State of Minnesota.

Judge David L Knutson

When children do not feel safe, and have witnessed domestic violence or been victims to abuse, they are at a much higher risk of running away. Especially when those charged with protecting them, social services and family court, fail to do so.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reports that 21% of runaway youth have a history of physical or sexual abuse, or were afraid abuse would continue if they returned to their home. (Source: Safe Place: Running Away)

Shrieking winds sweep across the prairie, beating against the the luxurious Rucki house, situated at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in a rural suburb. In the dying light of a sun that never seems to shine over this corner of hell, the door remains firmly shut, the blinds drawn …the house remains unusually quiet and shuttered tight, with no sign of life inside.

Carefully choreographed footage from ABC 20/20 shot over Christmas with David Rucki and children offers a rare glimpse inside… it is an awkward scene with blurred faces and forced cheer.

It is painfully obvious that mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, is absent from the festivities. Sandra has been forcibly removed from the lives of her children by abusive ex-husband, David Rucki, and by an unjust court order that prohibits her from having any contact with her children for the rest of their lives. Once a stay at home mother, and primary caregiver, Sandra is now alienated from her children and has not had any contact with them in over 5 years. Sandra spent Christmas grieving for her children. She clings to the precious memories .. and is haunted by thoughts of who they are today.

Elizabeth Vargas and ABC 20/20 portray David Rucki as a whimpering father who says he is victimized by an angry ex-wife who brainwashed the children to wage abuse allegations against him. The truth is more sinister.. it takes just a click of a mouse to reveal what 20/20 failed to report as much of the documentation has been made publicly available on the internet. Did 20/20 manipulate the Rucki story to hide abuse? (Michael Volpe, CDN)

A long history of police reports documents Rucki’s explosive anger, and propensity towards violence. druckipolicereports

The violence continued after David and Sandra divorced, with stalking, threats, and eruptions of Rucki’s rage – that often spilled onto the streets of this otherwise quiet neighborhood.

After the divorce was finalized, Sandra says Rucki terrorized the family, and in one incident, threatened to kill all of them. Soon after that threat, one of the children received a voice mail with the sound of six bullets being fired in quick succession – one bullet for Sandra and each of the children. recorded voice mail messages

The Rucki children bravely came forward to report abuse to many officials who should have protected them but failed to do so – the court appointed Guardian ad Litem, police, therapists, the family doctor, social workers, the family court judge and others.

The court appointed psychologist Gilbertson wrote a letter from Feb. 6, 2013 that stated, “There are two prevailing emotional themes that these children speak to: One is fear of 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 this, a belief that their father is morally flawed, i.e. womanizer, drinks too much, and is hiding money.

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

Yet time and time again the Rucki children were not protected but rather, sent back into the abuse; and their mother, and only protector, Sandra, was forcibly removed from their lives.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and three other co-defendants were criminally charged and convicted for their role for assisting S.R. and G.R. after they ran away in April 2013. This, despite the fact that in Minnesota it is an affirmative defense (subd. 2) to take action to protect a child from imminent emotional or physical harm. Sandra continues to fight for justice, and to clear her name. She is actively appealing her conviction.

Co-defendant, Dede Evavold is actively appealing her case, and has argued (Evavold Appeal 2017) that she was wrongfully charged and convicted of parental deprivation because (p.5), The affirmative defense did not need to be raised as there was substantial evidence supporting the affirmative defense. The state had all evidence that no crime was committed and that the girls ran away because of abuse...”

 

 

For More Info:

Birthday Blow Up: David Rucki Chased Terrified Teens Down Street

Rucki Child Speaks Out – Social Media Post Offers Glimpse From Months Leading Up to Disappearance of Sisters

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki convicted of hiding daughters (Michael Volpe, CDN)

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Grazzini-Rucki Case Suggests Witness Tampering, Continued Abuse of Runaway Rucki Girl

gavel

Because the witness told investigators that her father made her change her story and her story did in fact change from previous statements, it is apparent that witness tampering occurred.” – Motion filed by the Dahlens 12/23/2016

(Dakota County, Minn): More evidence supporting that David Rucki has abused his children in the past, and continues to emotionally and psychologically abuse S.R. emerges from the criminal trial of Doug and Gina Dahlen…

Doug and Gina Dahlen, the couple who sheltered S.R. and G.R. on their therapeutic horse ranch for 2 1/2 years, filed a motion to request an evidentiary hearing regarding witness tampering on 12/23/2016 in Dakota County. (The Dahlens have since plead “guilty” for felony charges of parental deprivation under questionable circumstances).

Read the motion in it’s entirety: Dakota County accused of witness tampering in Doug and Gina Dahlen case

Doug and Gina Dahlen

Doug and Gina Dahlen

The motion was filed to request a hearing to determine whether witness tampering has occurred. The alleged witness tampering is based on David Rucki, the Lakeville P.D. and Dakota County’s treatment towards S.R. – one of the teen girls who fled after Judge David L. Knutson placed her in an unsafe environment.

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

THE DAHLENS: RUCKI SISTERS DISCLOSE ABUSE

The motion details the heart wrenching day that S.R. and G.R. came to the Dahlen family. In late April of 2013, both girls came to the ranch, and according to the motion,”When the girls arrived, both were very emotional, crying and appeared scared. Both girls appeared extremely fearful to the Dahlens. In fact, the Dahlens had never seen two girls so visibly and physically frightened. In essence, they were scared for their lives.

S.R. and G.R. had good reason to be afraid of David Rucki. When the girls became more comfortable with the Dahlens, they shared their fears, and painful memories. According to the motion, the girls told the Dahlens that Rucki made threats, displayed sexually inappropriate behavior, and police were called a number of times after he violated restraining orders.

frisked

According to the Dahlens, the girls reported that they were scared of Rucki and he “had a habit of peeking in outside windows..” The Dahlens said talking about their home life, and the thought of returning to the care of their father (Rucki) made S.R. and G.R. so upset that they would shake and become physically sick “with fear and panic“.

It should be noted that S.R. exhibited the same emotional and physical symptoms as to what the Dahlens observed when she was questioned by social workers and police after she had been recovered; when making statements regarding her home life prior to the divorce, abuse and the events leading up to when she ran away. The difference is that the Dahlens correctly identified S.R.’s reaction as a traumatic response, but when S.R. was put back under the control of Dakota County the abuse cover up continued and S.R. was labelled “fragile” and in need of de-programming.

The motion states that Dahlens permitted S.R. and G.R. to stay at their Ranch because they reasonably believed that the girls were at risk for physical, sexual or emotional harm if they returned.

S.R. and her sister G.R. went into hiding, living with the Dahlens for 2 1/2 years. In an interview with ABC 20/20, Gina Dahlen says the teen girls “made a new life” for themselves on the Ranch, and they were free to leave anytime they wanted but chose to stay. While staying on the Ranch, S.R. and G.R. were home schooled. The girls did chores on the Ranch, and helped with the website – but never used the internet to contact their father or make an effort to return to Lakeville, where they lived. Dahlen says there was no effort to conceal the girls, they used their real names and went into town, socializing with others.

This is also confirmed in social worker notes, taken from an interview conducted after the S.R. and G.R. were discovered living on the Ranch in November 2015, (Social Service Records – Rucki ) “The girls appeared well cared for and like it at the (redacted).”

The social worker reports that S.R. told her,”It was so great up there.” And,”They were given hugs and love. She loves Doug and Gina and says Gina was like a mom to her.

S.R. also told the social worker about the abusive, dysfunctional home environment created by her father, David Rucki, and warned that she would run if placed back into his custody.

G.R. says this about the Dahlens,”She feels Doug and Gina gave up their lives for them. She feels at peace there, they talked about God and read the Bible. They taught her to forgive.

When asked about her father, G.R. told the social worker, “She still feels fear of dad… She does not want to live with him and she feels he still has control over her. She does not feel mom played role in her thoughts or feelings about her dad.” G.R. also stated that she will run if made to return to dad.

TRANSITIONING FAMILIES INVOLVED IN WITNESS TAMPERING?

(Note: Inquiry by Justice blog.. these comments are NOT part of the Dahlen’s motion)

It is unknown if S.R. or G.R. have attempted to run away again but it is known that the sisters were put through intensive de-programming (aka mind control) and reunification therapy at Transitioning Families, a  ranch  situated in a remote location in California. It could be argued that David Rucki’s efforts to put S.R. and G.R. in the program at Transitioning Families is a form of witness tampering.

Transitioning Families was chosen because if the girls did attempt to run away they would have no place to go. Court records state that S.R. and G.R. were both willing to attend therapy in Minnesota, and promised not to run if placed in a foster home. There was no need to send the sisters to California because they could undergo therapy in Minnesota, where they live, and where they would receive ongoing treatment (if needed). There would be no risk of running if the girls were placed in a foster home, and allowed to transition back into their lives at their own pace and comfort level.  But that didn’t happen.

Dr. Rebecca Bailey, Transitioning Families

Dr. Rebecca Bailey, Transitioning Families

Therapist Dr. Rebecca Bailey, of Transitioning Families, facilitated reunification between David Rucki and the girls. At the time of reunification, Rucki was on probation after being convicted of a violent road rage incident. Yet Bailey showed no concern for the safety of the girls, despite Rucki’s lengthy criminal record, that included being referred to anger management and psychological testing as part of probation. In an interview with a local paper, Rucki says Dr. Bailey determined that he does not pose a danger to anyone after an incident where he was kicked in the privates by a pony, and did not show signs of violence. However, that incident does not qualify as a valid psychological assessment, or involve the use of acceptable medical practices. Evidence suggests that Dr. Bailey ignored and/or dismissed abuse allegations raised by the Rucki children, as well as evidence supporting that abuse did occur. Dr. Bailey also failed to consider Rucki’s history or do a risk assessment when forcing the S.R. and G.R. (and their siblings) into reunification. The end result of the Transitioning Families program was that adults who are skilled in psychology used isolation and programming tactics to get two vulnerable, frightened teenage girls to recant abuse allegations. From the motion filed by the Dahlens (p. 5) “Intimidate can simply mean to make timidIn the Eighth Circuit, exhortations to remain loyal to one’s people or family is sufficient to support a conviction for witness tampering...”

The way testimony was taken from S.R. during the criminal trial of her mother could also be considered witness tampering. During her criminal trial, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki attempted to subpoena S.R. (who had turned 18) and G.R. to appear and testify. Grazzini-Rucki’s efforts were challenged by both David Rucki and his attorney, Lisa Elliott, and by Prosecutor Kathryn Keena. Their arguments were supported by Dr. Bailey, who wrote a letter to the Court, stating she did not feel the girls were capable of testifying and recommended that if S.R.. were to testify it should be by video only. Dr. Bailey’s letter was submitted to Judge Karen Asphaug for review. Grazzini-Rucki and her attorney were not given a copy, nor allowed to read it. Judge Asphaug agreed with the recommendation, G.R. was not allowed to testify and S.R. could testify by video only.

S.R. testified by video conferencing under extremely unusual circumstances. S.R. was out of view of the jury and present with her in the room was father, David Rucki, paternal aunt Tammy Jo Love (her fear of Love caused S.R. to run away), and both paternal grandparents and an armed bailiff. The defense attorney was limited in the questions he could ask and evidence of abuse was suppressed.

According to the motion (p. 5),”Witness tampering can be overt or subtle and includes emotional manipulation…The Minnesota Supreme Court has recognized that even ‘general or specific threats of reprisal’ would constitute witness intimidation…The Court has also acknowledged that  the mere presence of spectators in the courtroom can result in witness intimidation.

BASIS FOR THE WITNESS TAMPERING MOTION

Doug and Gina Dahlen raise a compelling, and legally sound, argument that witness tampering involving S.R. did occur.

From the time S.R. and G.R. stayed at the Ranch until their tearful good-bye, the girls have consistently told the same story about the abuse they have endured at the hands of their father, and the failure of the family court to protect them, is the reason why they ran away, to seek safety. Upon return to Rucki’s care, S.R. told law enforcement that she was  pressured and guilted to recant by her father and Tammy Love. S.R. also stated that court paperwork was “all over the house“, that the issue was constantly raised, and she could not get away from it.  When S.R. did give a statement to police, it was Rucki who drove her to the police station.

Journalist Michael Volpe has extensively researched the Grazzini-Rucki case, and has uncovered another aspect of possible witness tampering involving the same incident: David Rucki claims indigence, hires two private lawyers This article offers additional insight on the questionable interview with S.R. and police, conducted on June 30, 2016. During the interview, S.R. reveals that she had been reading about her family’s involvement with the court system on the Carver County Corruption blog. S.R. said she discovered the site after going to the library, logging onto a computer, and doing an internet search on her name.

At the time of the interview the Carver County Corruption blog had been permanently shut down. Another blogger writing about the Grazzini-Rucki case had removed articles she had written from her blog, and stopped covering the case altogether. These events happened in response to a June 7, 2016 letter written to the blog owners from a law firm employed by David Rucki. The letter implied the bloggers could face “various civil claims” against them and “litigation seeking substantial damages“. As a result, the blog articles were taken down, and S.R. was no longer able to freely access information offering another perspective on the case. It should also be noted that the Carver County Corruption blog gave S.R. a voice because it posted letters and comments she provided to the courts. In a broader perspective, shutting down the blogs has also limited the public’s access to information and documentation regarding the Grazzini-Rucki case; and attempted to make one viewpoint – that of David Rucki – the dominant source of information.

LAKEVILLE POLICE IMPLICATED IN WITNESS TAMPERING

The Dahlen motion also implicates Lakeville police in witness tampering, stating that (p. 8), “Law enforcement investigators in this case apparently avoided asking SVR questions which would develop responses favoring the affirmative defense. Anytime the possibility arose that David Rucki would be portrayed in a negative light, Detective Coughlin backed off.

During the June 30th interview, S.R. told Det. Coughlin that she was brought to the interview against her free will, and pressured and guilted into recanting abuse allegations by Rucki and Love. The pressure was so intense that S.R. began to cry.

The motion states that Det. Coughlin never asked S.R. to elaborate when speaking about issues related to abuse. And that S.R.’s statement to police shows change from the story she has consistently told prior to being recovered. S.R.’s testimony takes yet another turn in court, where claims to not have seen or remembered abuse, and stated that she was not in her right mind when speaking to police.

Perhaps the impact of reunification therapy at Transitioning Families has taken its toll? Perhaps Rucki and Love have finally crushed her spirit? What has not changed is that S.R. remains tearful, emotional and her body language indicates trauma – she shakes or curls up into a ball when questioned. And that is the tragedy of the Grazzini-Rucki case, that the court system has completely failed to protect the Rucki children from the abuse they endured and witnessed, and instead protected the abuser, to the detriment of the children.

The Dahlen motion has not only raised concerns about witness tampering but at its core, it is a statement that raises serious concerns that S.R. (and the other Rucki children) is being emotionally and psychologically abused and continue to be at risk in the care of David Rucki.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Sentenced After Judge Asphaug Disallows Nearly All of Defense Evidence

As reported by Michael Volpe, CDN News. Read full story at: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is sentenced in domestic case by Michael Volpe, CDN News
HASTINGS, Minnesota, September 23, 2016- “Sandra Grazzini-Rucki has been sentenced to six years’ probation and an extra one hundred and eight days in jail for her role in her two daughters’ running away.
sentencingsgr

Judge Asphaug imposed the unusual sentence after disallowing nearly all of the evidence Grazzini-Rucki intended to use in support of her affirmative defense. Grazzini-Rucki argued that she hid her daughters to protect them from an unsafe environment.

Judge Karen J Asphaug

Judge Karen J Asphaug

The criminal record of Grazzini-Rucki’s ex-husband, David Rucki including a bar fight, road rage incident, numerous incidents of stalking and numerous violations of orders for protection, were all disallowed.

Child Protection reports, including one made by Nico Rucki in which he claimed his father held a gun to his head, were also disallowed.…”

This article by Michael Volpe discusses the allegations of abuse raised by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and children, and describes the dramatic events leading up to the disappearance of the Rucki sisters.  It also includes Sandra’s full statement, to be read by her family law attorney, after sentencing.

Volpe attempted to contact numerous sources for comment including Judge Asphaug, Beau Berentson public affairs officer for the Minnesota courts, the Lakeville police, the Dakota County Prosecutor’s office, attorney Lisa Elliott and others, who did not respond.

Volpe also attempted to contact reporter Brandon Stahl to ask several questions about the case – including asking Stahl why he has declined to write about Rucki’s extensive criminal history, and declined to write about S. Rucki’s June 30, 2016 interview with police.

Volpe reports: “In that interview Samantha Rucki said she was pressured into recanting by her father, running away was her idea, and she reiterated her father was an abuser .

She recanted when called as a witness saying she ran away to get away from the divorce but Judge Asphaug refused to allow her June 30 interview into evidence at Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s trial.” In the June 30 interview with police, S. Rucki said she was pressured and “guilted” into recanting by Rucki and Tammy Jo Love.

During the criminal trial, Judge Asphaug took the unusual move to have S. Rucki testify by Skype, and out of view of the jury. David Rucki, paternal aunt Tammy Jo Love, grandmother Vicki Rucki, and attorney Lisa Elliott, were all in the room but remained out of view of the jury.  Judge Asphaug also limited the questions the Defense was allowed to ask, thereby making their defense ineffective.

Dakota County Judicial Center

Dakota County Judicial Center

 

Why Hasn’t Lori Musolf Been Charged for her Role in Assisting Runaway Rucki Sisters?

cropped-teddywood.jpg

Dakota County, Minn: A repost from Red Herring Alert raises questions as to why self proclaimed “advocate” and “investigator” Lori Musolf has NEVER been charged for her role in assisting the runaway Rucki sisters. WITH ADVOCATES LIKE THESE. . .

During David Rucki’s victim impact statement at the sentencing of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki he stated (paraphrase) that if “Sandy” had just made a call or done something right away, the Girls could have been returned right away, avoiding years of suffering. The same could be said for Lori Musolf who had extensive conversations with the runaway Rucki sisters in the days after their disappearance. Musolf also arranged the interview, and acted as a go between, for the Rucki sisters to appear on Fox 9 with Trish van Pilsum.

Judge Karen Asphaug, Prosecutor Kathryn Keena and the Lakeville police have all taken a tough stance on Sandra as well as Dede Evavold and the Dahlens – why, then, are they allowing Lori Musolf to go free with no punishment?

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

609.26 Depriving Another of Custodial or Parental Rights Subdivision 1. Prohibited acts. Whoever intentionally does any of the following acts may be charged with a felony and, upon conviction, may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 6:

… 8) causes or contributes to a child being a runaway as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 28, and is at least 18 years old and more than 24 months older than the child…

Has Dakota County made a deal with Lori Musolf or what ??? The public deserves to know…

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

Excerpts from interview with Detective Dronen and Lori Musolf: 

Detective Dronen:  Let me ask you something along those lines when the girls first went missing on the 19th of April.

Lori: I think I’ve got the timelines figured out when we interviewed (referring to Fox9 interview of the girls). I believe I had gotten a call that night that they were gone and I believe that was a Friday night. Things have just been triggering memories for me when I read stuff like, you know I’ll read through these stories and everything else and I actually talked to Trish and I think I’ve got the timeline figured out. So they went missing Friday night they called me on Saturday the next day because we tried to set up the interview for Saturday but we could not find a photographer that would work the weekend. We didn’t interview them till Monday morning, my husband was home during that time too and we are trying to get everything figured out. So I figure it was between Saturday and Sunday that we talked on the phone and it was either Sunday or Monday we did the interview. (Reports show that Musolf had numerous conversations with the Rucki sisters in the days after they ran away, a direct result of Judge Knutson awarding temporary custody to an aunt who the sisters claim is abusive, under her care the sisters knew their abusive father would have access to them).

AND

Lori: (After the interview with sisters, S and G Rucki) “I left and went straight to St. Cloud and Dede and Sam were already there so I knew they didn’t have those girls. They were already at the hotel when we got there, they were waiting in the parking lot.”

Detective Dronen. Source: https://redherringalert.wordpress.com, sunthisweek

Also interesting – Lori Musolf is NOT a supporter of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, in fact, she openly criticizes her. Musolf has no reason and no agenda to say or do anything that would support Sandra, Which makes Musolf even more credible when she states that she believes that domestic violence occurred in the Rucki, believes that the Girls were abused and that she herself is afraid of David. Potential State Witness Wrote Letter to Judge Knutson – Criticizing Court’s Failure to Protect Rucki Children from Abuse

Statements from Musolf about the #grazzinirucki case:

I have no doubt that the judge (Knutson) is corrupt as the day is long, that’s why I got involved. There’s no denying the shit she had to go through in the courtroom…”

“She felt like he would kill her if he had the chance.”

“I don’t trust David and I do think the man is dangerous…”

Source: WITH ADVOCATES LIKE THESE. . .

 

 

 

Media Mayhem: Has Stahl and Brodkorb Gone Too Far Reporting on the Grazzini-Rucki Case??

Public Domain: pdpics.com

Corruption in the Grazzini-Rucki case has reached epic proportions – affecting all levels of government in Dakota County and Minnesota, and even influencing local media coverage of the case. 

Journalists should abide by ethics and standards so that their reporting is accurate, fair and does not cause undue harm to its subjects. Just the opposite happened when Brandon Stahl and Michael Brodkorb (who now works exclusively for David Rucki, promoting his interest in social media posts and blog articles) began covering the case for the Star Tribune.

A repost from Red Herring Alert suggests the behavior of reporters Brandon Stahl, and Michael Brodkorb, in their coverage of  the Grazzini-Rucki case was unethical and exploitative. Further, Stahl and Brodkorb’s appearance at the Ranch in the hours before the Rucki girls were recovered suggests a leak in the Lakeville police that tipped them off to sensitive information on an open investigation that, by law, should not have been released. Did the presence of these rogue reporters compromise the investigation?

Brandon Stahl (Source: https://wn.com) 

From Red Herring Alert: “Sources tell us that an unmarked vehicle with  its flashers on was the first to arrive on the scene on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, the day that law enforcement officials located S. Rucki and G. Rucki.

It is further reported on Red Herring Alert that Doug Dahlen, who lives at the home where the girls were located,  arrived home to find a vehicle with its flashers on, parked on a gravel road.  Not knowing who was in the vehicle, he stopped to inquire if the driver was OK.  The vehicle sat there for 3 hours before law enforcement arrived.  Brandon Stahl was in the vehicle and went to the door asking for an interview.  He gave Mr. Dahlen his business card, identifying himself as Brandon Stahl of the Star Tribune.

It is deeply disturbing to know how law enforcement has tipped off local media to parts of the investigation, prior to any public reports from the officials.  Isn’t it pathetic that the Star Tribune sat there for 3 hours prior to the arrival of law enforcement?  3 hours!

It is unclear if the reporters were tipped off by law enforcement or someone else. Brodkorb says about his role in discovering the whereabouts of the runaway Rucki girls, “Over the summer, my sources provided information that led me to a location near where the girls were found less than two weeks ago. I’m convinced that if I had knocked on one too many doors, I might have made it more difficult for law enforcement to find S and G.Michael Brodkorb: Why I wrote about the Rucki case

Brodkorb also says, “The contacts I had made in the political world ended up being very helpful in generating leads on the Rucki case…Michael Brodkorb: Minnesota Politics and Beyond

Another concerning incident involves Michael Brodkorb contacting a witness, and influencing her view of the case BEFORE police contacted this person. The testimony of this witness was later used to help build a case against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki: Potential State Witness Wrote Letter to Judge Knutson – Criticizing Court’s Failure to Protect Rucki Children from Abuse

Has Stahl and Brodkorb gone too far in their reporting of the Grazzini-Rucki case?

 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE FROM RED HERRING ALERT BELOW:

 

“Interesting, No?” Posted on the Red Herring Alert on November 21, 2015 by Susan:

Local media coverage of the missing Rucki girls has been politically motivated.  It is very clear.

It is interesting to note that Michael Brodkorb, who always claimed his sole motivation was to find the missing girls, has not written anything about them being found last Wednesday, but on Thursday, did post an article about Michelle MacDonald.

No post about his relief that the girls were found.  No post with relief that the girls can tell their story.  No post reporting how relieved the father is.  Nope.  Just simply an article that shows his antipathy of Michelle MacDonald.

As a matter of fact, coverage by Brodkorb fell off after August 24, 2015, which is odd because the case was just ramping up after a warrant was issued for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on August 19, 2015.

Brodkorb’s recent articles on the missing Rucki sisters:

Sources tell us that an unmarked vehicle with  its flashers on was the first to arrive on the scene on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, the day that law enforcement officials located S. Rucki and G. Rucki.

It is further reported to Red Herring Alert that Doug Dahlen, who lives at the home where the girls were located,  arrived home to find a vehicle with its flashers on, parked on a gravel road.  Not knowing who was in the vehicle, he stopped to inquire if the driver was OK.  The vehicle sat there for 3 hours before law enforcement arrived.  Brandon Stahl was in the vehicle and went to the door asking for an interview.  He gave Mr. Dahlen his business card, identifying himself as Brandon stahl of the Star Tribune.

 

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Our sources also tell us that law enforcement treated the girls very well, and promised to listen to what they have to say.

It is deeply disturbing to know how law enforcement has tipped off local media to parts of the investigation, prior to any public reports from the officials.  Isn’t it pathetic that the Star Tribune sat there for 3 hours prior to the arrival of law enforcement?  3 hours!

This writer (Susan) appeared on Tim Kinley’s show Speechless MN, on October 29th to talk about the Rucki case.  Tim made an observation about the media’s handling of Family Court:

Let’s face it. Divorced parents are treated as second class citizens in every state in the nation. No one cares if your child is withheld from you.  The interest in the Rucki case would have received little attention, if not for the fact that the GOP needs Michelle MacDonald to go away.  She came within 7 points of winning a seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014.  If you listened to Ron Rosenbaum’s show last Thursday, you can hear his obsession with Michelle MacDonald.  Dede Evavold will be posting about that soon.

We also know that the Minnesota Family Court would like MacDonald to go away, as well.  She is bad for business as usual in the courts.  To have her disbarred for this case would make many people very happy, but the truth is, she came in after the case was a mess.  If Michelle MacDonald were to be disbarred for this, let’s hope that Lisa Henry would be, too. She was the lawyer who participated in the phone conference with Judge David Knutson, and was too timid to tell Judge Knutson that it was unlawful for him to throw Sandra out of her home with less than two hours notice.

Judge David L Knutson (source: http://lionnews00.blogspot.com)

Judge David L Knutson (source: http://lionnews00.blogspot.com)

In all my years of Family Court experience, that began with my own ordeal in 1998 and spanned eight long years, I have not seen any kind of intervention when children are withheld from a loving parent.

Tim Kinley mentioned the Caroline Rice case (accidentally referred to her as Susan Rice, but it is Caroline).  You can read about the Rice case and the appeal.

Minnesota Court Overturns Mom’s Conviction Sends Message of Hope

Caroline Rice Appeals Court Decision Minnesota

In my opinion, the Rucki case was driven by political vitriol and the courts fail to do what they can to ensure both parents are allowed to spend time with their children.  They also fail to protect children from abusive parents, who can be a mother or a father.  Readers will have to draw their own conclusion about these issues.

I recommend readers watch the full episode of Speechless MN with Tim Kinley, and check out other pertinent videos on Tim’s Speechless MN You Tube Channel!

Michael Volpe Reports: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Convicted After 75% of Defense Evidence Withheld

TearsDakotaCounty

Journalist Michael Volpe, Communities Digital News (CDN), recently wrote an article describing a short history of the Grazzini-Rucki case, offering new details about abuse allegations and other evidence that was withheld from the jury in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial.

Sandra raised the affirmative defense at trial, meaning she assisted her teenage daughters in running away because she feared for their safety. Volpe writes, “Approximately 75 percent of the evidence her defense planned to use was disallowed by Dakota County Judge Karen Asphaug.The jury was only presented with one side of the story, that of Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena, and was not allowed to review  evidence and supporting documentation or hear from crucial witnesses that would provide additional information on the events leading up to when the Rucki sisters ran away. This means the jury was not allowed to gain an understanding of the context in which Sandra made her decision.

Sandra will likely appeals with decision.

Read the full article here: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki convicted of hiding daughters

Please like, share, repost and comment on our article and Volpe’s,

your support and feedback is important!

Judge Karen J Asphaug

Judge Karen J Asphaug

Kathryn Keena

Kathryn Keena

Jury Deliberations in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Case (Repost Red Herring Alert)

The jury started deliberations in the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case at 1:00 pm today. No verdict reached. Will resume deliberations on Thursday, July 28th at 9:00 am.

Also discussed in this article is how Dakota County has mishandled the criminal charges, and trial, against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.

Source: Jury Deliberations

Dakota County Judicial Center

Dakota County Judicial Center