Is Minnesota Safe with Judge David Knutson on the Bench? In Three High-Profile Cases, Showed Leniency to Dangerous Child Abusers

(Courtroom 2F, Dakota County Judicial Center, MinnesotaJudge David L. Knuston aka “Korrupt Knutson” presides over yet another controversial case – this time giving a drastic downward departure, meaning a sentence more lenient than recommended by guidelines, for an unlicensed daycare provider convicted of brutally assaulting, and nearly killing, a 13 month old boy.

Due to the severity of the injuries, the child was not expected to survive – today he is 2 years old and suffering from permanent brain damage.

Has justice been served? In two separate high-profile cases – the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki divorce/custody case and the criminal trial of child predator Dennis Roy – Judge Knutson showed leniency to a perpetrator of child abuse, and gave sympathy instead of prison.

A deeper look into all three of these cases suggests a pattern that Judge Knutson’s reckless disregard for the safety of children, and for public safety, has enabled dangerous abusers to avoid the punishment their heinous crimes warrant. Is the public safe with Judge Knutson on the bench?

#1 – The Merchant Case (2016/2017) : No Prison for Daycare Provider Who Nearly Killed a Toddler

Source: pinterest

Background: On September 22, 2016, parents Jessica and John Merchant say their child “WM” was in good health, and showed no sign of any problems, the day he was dropped off at the home of Mariel Alexandra Grimm. Grimm, a mother and unlicensed daycare provider, had been watching “WM” since he was 9 weeks old. Grimm says that after being dropped off at her home that day, “WM” was at a usual level of activity, and that he “he was playing on the floor with some toys and seemed fine…” The day started off like any other, then ended in tragedy.

Grimm was the only adult in the home the day “WM” suffered a near fatal brain injury. At the time, Grimm was caring for 5 five other children – four of her children who were being home-schooled, and another daycare child.

“WM” was dropped off at 7:15 am; Grimm said she cuddled with “WM” and then laid him down in a pack n’ play. Grimm then went upstairs, and left “WM” alone, in the basement, to nap. At 8:47 am, Grimm heard “WM” crying and went to change his diaper, and brought him upstairs where he ate some cereal. After breakfast, Grimm brought “WM” back to the pack n’ play, and left him alone in the basement again so she could home-school her 4 children in the upstairs level of the home. In her statement to police, Grimm did not recall how long “WM” slept.

When “WM” woke again, Grimm went to change his diaper and noticed “WM” was stiff and unconscious. Grimm tried to rouse “WM” but he would not respond. Grimm then called Jessica Merchant who instructed her to call 911. The 911 call was made at 12:51 pm, an ambulance arrived soon after. When medics arrived, they found Grimm holding “WM” – who had a pulse but was breathing very shallow and was unresponsive. Medics noted that one of “WM”’s pupils was extremely dilated, and the other was not, a sign of head trauma. At the hospital, “WM” was diagnosed with a massive subdural hematoma (a build up of blood between the layers of tissue that cover the brain, a sign of severe trauma) and required emergency surgery.

Physicians treating “WM” stated that he would have become unresponsive immediately after or shortly after the head trauma occurred. The physicians also testified that type of trauma “WM” suffered is beyond what a toddler would experience if they had a normal fall or bump to the head, and the severity of the injury is consistent with being violently shaken or thrown. Meaning the greater force applied to the head, the more severe the damage to the brain and functioning will be. A severely injured infant would not be able to regulate any behavior requiring higher cortical functions, such as eating, sitting, playing, laughing, or walking – which is how “WM” now presents.

“WM” was diagnosed as suffering from abusive head trauma. He required surgery to remove a part of his skull in order to alleviate the swelling around the brain and spent months in the hospital. Medical experts testified that the injury inflicted on “WM” is consistent with “a violent acceleration-deceleration event, such as a high-speed motor vehicle collision or being severely shaken or thrown..”

An online comment says this about the case: “..Her (Grimm) story has changed repeatedly — her timeline is both inconsistent and incoherent and isn’t supported by the physical evidence.

Her daughter testified that the boy woke up crying while Mariel was in the shower, her daughter got her mother out of the shower who was angry about it, then Mariel was heard yelling at the boy to shut up. He then went entirely silent.

The boy suffered permanent and severely debilitating brain damage. To the extent that he is expected to remain a toddler in his capabilities for the rest of his life (though he is hoped to exceed those expectations). The damage was described, by one of the premier pediatric neurosurgical and neurological teams in the entire United States, as one of the worst cases of TBI that they’ve ever seen…Comment VO

Grimm noted in an online post that attorneys were “happy” that Judge Knutson was appointed to her case, and they had good reason to be considering the favorable outcome she would receive. Grimm was convicted in July 2017 by a jury of 1stdegree felony assault; sentencing occurred in September 2017.

“WM”, an adorable little boy with eyes that smile, chubby cheeks and golden blond hair, suffered from permanent brain damage and will never fully recover from injuries. The rest of his childhood will include continued medical treatment, and uncertainty. The Merchants said during their victim impact statement that “WM” cannot walk, requires a feeding tube, and suffers from seizures and intractable pain.

Mother, Jessica Merchant, said,” It is impossible to convey the tragedy and depth of devastation and sorrow as we watched our son fight for his life for days and weeks…

His life has been forever altered. Instead of wondering where he’ll go to college, or if he’ll be an engineer like his daddy, or a teacher like his mama, or an astronaut or a writer or an athlete, we have to wonder if he’ll even be able to have a job … to participate in school … to live on his own.”

Many in the courtroom cried after listening to the heart-wrenching victim impact statement. The Merchants asked Grimm be given the harshest sentence possible.

Despite the severity of “W.M’s” injuries, Judge Knutson showed sympathy – not to the “W.M.” or to the Merchant family but to the woman convicted of shaking the child, Mariel Grimm. Knutson praised Grimm for “cooperating” with the prosecutor’s office and her attitude in court; to which Judge Knutson bizarrely notes,”She has expressed ongoing love and support for the victim..” An “expression of love” does NOT involve violently shaking or throwing a toddler, causing his brain to hemorrhage!

Judge Knutson said he was also touched by the letters of support for Grimm but ignored the victim impact statement of the child’s parents, and the reaction of the public to it. 

Prosecutor Heather Pipenhagen said, “All of Ms. Grimm’s good qualities … do not mitigate what she did on September 22, 2016 to this child..Make no mistake, she took his life. He’s alive, but Ms. Grimm took his life.”

Grimm was facing up to 8 years in prison but in an act of misplaced mercy, Judge Knutson stayed the sentence so that Grimm will avoid prison. Instead, Grimm will spend up to 90 days in county jail but could be released in as little as 60 days. Grimm could also be released from jail to attend counseling appointments, and to home-school her 4 children. In addition, Grimm has been sentenced to 60 days of electronic home monitoring, 200 hours of community service and 15 years of probation. Grimm has an open case with CPS, her children were not removed from her home, but she has been required to be supervised when with them. As part of the conditions for probation Grimm is required to follow all directions of CPS. Grimm says she is innocent, that “WM” came to her home with injury, and plans to appeal.

A Fundraiser has been set up to help the Merchant family pay “W.M.’s” medical bills: Help with Medical Bills

Read More About the Merchant Case:

Daycare provider Mariel Grimm gets probation in shaken baby case (City Pages)

Eagan day care provider sentenced after baby left brain damaged (Twincities.com)

Eagan Day Care Provider Guilty Of Assaulting Toddler (Patch)

 

#2 – Dennis Roy Case (May 2013) : Stayed Sentence for Child Rapist, Victim Imprisoned By Ongoing Trauma, Flashbacks

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Dennis Michael Roy, pleaded guilty to felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct after raping and repeatedly assaulting a 5-year old girl, a relative, from Eagan (Case No. 19HA-CR-12-495).

Roy faced a maximum of 30 years in prison and $40,000 in fines…but instead he walked free. Roy appeared before Judge David L. Knutson, who handed down his sentence on March 22, 2013. Judge Knutson sentenced Roy to a 16-year stayed prison term and 20 years of probation.

In September 2014, Roy was found guilty of a probation violation for loitering in public with an open bottle of alcohol. He served 45 days in jail.Roy has 18 prior convictions, including second-degree burglary, multiple motor-vehicle thefts, multiple DUIs, trespassing, disorderly conduct and multiple domestic assaults.

The child involved continues to struggle with the assault, and suffers severely from the effects of trauma with flashbacks, anxiety and depression.

Read More on the Roy Case:

Never Forget: Judge Knutson – Stayed Sentence for Child Rapist

Child Rapist Gets Stayed Prison Term, 20 Years Probation

 

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Divorce/Custody Case: Abuser Given Sole Custody of Children He Victimized, Lifetime Ban From Children Against Protective Mother

Judge Knutson is the family court judge who presided over the Grazzini-Rucki divorce and custody trial after it was illegally re-opened. Judge Knutson also demanded that ALL legal matters concerning the Grazzini-Rucki family be placed under his jurisdiction alone, and no other. By “coincidence” all the judges appointed to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s other legal matters (appellate, child support, criminal) share a connection to Judge Knutson, and all have issued extremely harsh rulings against her – even violating the law to do so.

In September 2012, Judge Knutson court ordered the removal of mother and primary caregiver, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, from the home, causing all five children to run away after hearing the news. Judge Knutson instilled paternal aunt, Tammy Jo Love, a temporary guardian. Love had previously lost custody of her children due to drug use. The Rucki children feared Love, and say she mistreated them (one of the children told police after running away that Love hit her). Judge Knutson’s irrational decision came after allegations of sexual abuse involving two of the children were raised, which he was fully aware of. The Rucki children were apprehended and put into the care of a maternal aunt while Judge Knutson continued to work to give abuser, David Rucki, custody of the children who were so desperate to escape his abuse.

Instead of protecting the five Rucki children, Judge Knutson sought to isolate the children so they would have no avenue for help. Judge Knutson worked to give the abusive father complete control over the children – directly putting them in harm’s way. For the Rucki children, their childhood died the day their loving and protective mother was removed from their home, and their life, their existence would become a nightmare involving continued legal chaos and abuse; that would be impossible to escape, even as adults.

The traumatized Rucki children were then court ordered into reunification with identified abuser, father David Rucki. Some of the visits were facilitated in the Dakota County Judicial Center, where Judge Knutson used the court bailiffs to guard the doors so the children could not escape. Witnesses reported hearing the anguished cries of the children from behind closed doors during “reunification”. In another incident, the youngest child was heard screaming like a wounded animal, held captive by a therapist bent on “deprogramming”. The older siblings made efforts to help but were prevented and eventually separated from the younger siblings so they would be easier to control. Judge Knutson’s failure to protect the five Rucki children from the physical, mental and sexual abuse perpetrated by their father, David Rucki, has directly lead to these children being further abused, and now held captive by a custody ruling that has sentenced them to a life of torture.

Judge Knutson’s failure to consider the safety of the Rucki children created a crisis in which two of the eldest Rucki sisters ran away again on April 19, 2013, again citing fear for their safety when Judge Knutson attempted to place them again into the care of Tammy Jo Love.

While the eldest sisters were still missing, Judge Knutson ordered a custody trial, to be held on September 11-12, 2013 (note: the custody trial was held in the same courtroom as the Mariel Grimm criminal trial). During trial, Judge Knutson ordered Sandra’s attorney to proceed with while handcuffed and strapped to a wheelchair, without her client present, and no files, and not even her shoes or glasses. The custody trial was rife with due process violations, Constitutional violations, and legal error – in effect was a rigged trial masterminded by Judge Knutson. Under circumstances of great injustice, in November 2013, David Rucki was granted sole custody of all 5 children. At the time of the court order, Rucki was on probation for violating a protective order issued against him, after his continued abuse of Sandra. Judge Knutson later slapped a lifetime ban against loving and protective mother, Sandra – prohibiting her from any physical, verbal, or written contact with her children. Sandra has not seen or heard from her children in over 5 years, and grieves their loss every day, in every breath, she takes.

The two oldest Rucki sisters remained in hiding, living on a therapeutic horse ranch, and refusing to return to their father, David Rucki, stating he abused them. Witnesses say both girls exhibited emotional and physical symptoms consistent with abuse. On the ranch the sisters were well cared for, and nurtured, and began to not only heal but thrive in their new environment, which they considered home. Tragically in November 2015, after 2 years the sisters were discovered, and despite their pleas for help, and the recommendation of a social worker to keep them in foster care for their safety, Judge Michael Mayer (a close friend of Judge Knutson) returned the sisters back into the custody of David Rucki. To attest to his violent nature, Rucki was on probation for a violent road rage incident at the time the girls were put into his care.

Sandra was later convicted of 6 counts of felony deprivation for her efforts to assist her daughters, who ran away from abuse. She has filed an appeal, and has not stopped fighting for justice, and to keep her children safe from abuse.

The Grazzini-Rucki case is yet another example of Judge Knutson showing preference to a dangerous abuser, and purposefully ignoring the safety concerns and well-being of a vulnerable child. Yet again, the abuser is given protective status while the child is placed in harm’s way, with the assistance of Judge Knutson.

Against all logic, Judge Knutson has shown sympathy to dangerous child predators and abusers. Criminals go free when jail is warranted, and vulnerable children are denied the justice and protection they deserve.

Is Minnesota safe with Judge Knutson on the bench?

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Minnesota Appellate Upholds Free Speech Rights of Bloggers – Is Evavold Protected?

In a historic ruling from 2012, the Minnesota Appellate Court upholds the free speech rights of bloggers, rules that bloggers cannot be held liable for publishing true statements…

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How will this ruling bear on the case of Dede Evavold, who faces both a HRO hearing and a probation violation hearing, in relation to her blog “Red Herring Alert”. Evavold has even been held liable for true statements, which include multiple sources to verify their authenticity, which she did not personally make but were posted on her blog. “Red Herring Alert” includes articles from multiple authors and sources.

Blogger Dede Evavold has been slapped with a fraudulent HRO and faces jail time for publishing a blog, “Red Herring Alert”, after being banned by Judge Karen Asphaug, Dakota County, from mentioning the Grazzini-Rucki case for the next 8 years as a condition of probation.

Evavold was convicted of felony parental deprivation for her role in assisting two teenage sisters who ran away after a family court in Dakota County, presided over by Judge David L Knutson, failed to protect them from physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The father accused of abuse is wealthy and well-connected, and has been shown special treatment by both Judge Knutson and Judge Asphaug – who both, presided over previous criminal trials involving him. (See: Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases?)

While Dakota County has branded Evavold as a “criminal”, may say she is a hero for her efforts to protect these children who vowed that they “would run away with or without help” after raising dozens of abuse allegations, and even speaking personally to Judge Knutson, that all went ignored. (See: The court created horror of the five Rucki children) The girls were called “liars” by the Guardian ad Litem, and accused by the court appointed therapist of being “brainwashed” despite the father’s lengthy criminal history, numerous police reports, HROs, and witness statements that attested to his propensity towards violence. (See: The definitive dossier documenting David Rucki’s violence: 99 pages of police reports, orders for protection, letters, affidavits, and more…)

(Judge Karen Asphaug, Judge David L Knutson)

 

Through blogging, Evavold has continued to raise awareness, and bring attention to, systemic injustices and corruption occurring across America’s political system today; and the devastating effect on individuals, families and children. As a wife and mother, Evavold feels a strong purpose in blogging – to inspire needed change so that this world can become a better place, and justice will be restored, not just for her family but for all future generations.

Just as egregious is the message being sent to abused children everywhere by Judge Karen Asphaug in this ridiculous condition of probation, and related charges, against Evavold and her free speech rightsA clear message is being sent to children, and victims of abuse, to remain silent because you will not be believed, and the system will not protect you but, instead, protect the perpetrator. The Grazzini-Rucki case has set a horrifying precedent, that, if you are a child who speaks out abuse in Dakota County, or reports abuse to the family court, police, social workers, therapists as these children did… you risk being called a “liar” and accused of being “brainwashed”. Social services and the court system will then force the child to “reunify” with the perpetrator against their wishes, despite their cries for help, and to the detriment of their safety, which is also what happened to these abused children – who now reside in the sole custody of the identified abuser.

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Will the Courts of Dakota County recognize Evavold’s Constitutional protections, and the precedent set by the Appellate, or strike a blow against freedom of speech?

 Stay tuned to “Red Herring Alert” for updates on Evavold’s shocking case, that will have far-reaching implications, and especially for writers and bloggers everywhere.

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THE JOHNNY NORTHSIDE LAWSUIT – “THE BLOGOSPHERE TRIAL OF THE CENTURY” AND BLOGGER’S RIGHTS

(August 20, 2012) In a 2012 defamation lawsuit against John Hoff, who publishes the blog “The Adventures of Johnny Northside”, the Minnesota Appellate Court, overturned a judgment issued against Hoff in defense of his 1st Amendment right to free speech.

A three-member panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned a $60,000 award for damages against Hoff.

Judge Jill Flaskamp Holbrook, appointed to that panel, stated in her decision that “Hoff’s blog post is the kind of speech that the First Amendment is designed to protect. He was publishing information about a public figure that he believed was true (and that the jury determined was not false) and that involved an issue of public concern . . . Attaching liability to this speech would infringe on Hoff’s First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit resulted after Hoff exposed Jerry Moore as being involved in a high-profile mortgage fraud case, and accused him of various misdeeds. At the time of the blog post. Moore worked at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center, where his job was to study mortgage foreclosures. Moore was fired from his job the day after Hoff’s post. Moore then filed a lawsuit for financial damages against Hoff for two counts of tortious interference – meaning he was fired because of the blog. Hoff said he told the truth and had documentation to back up his claims.

The Court of Appeals reversed the jury’s decision, saying that Hoff can’t be sued for publishing statements that are true. The Court also found that there wasn’t evidence that there was anything besides Hoff’s protected speech that interfered with Moore’s contract.

Hoff declared his trial to be the “Blogosphere Trial of the Century”. Johnny Northside’s blog retired in June 2015, but archives can still be read online. The MisAdventures of Johnny Northside

More Info:

Justice Delayed But Not Denied – Appellate Court Overturns $60K Verdict Against Blogger for Posting “Not False” Information

Minnesota Court of Appeals: Johnny Northside blog IS protected by First Amendment

Never Forget: Judge Knutson – Stayed Sentence for Child Rapist

Never forget… Judge David L. Knutson let a child rapist, with a lengthy criminal history, walk free after he pleaded guilty to a brutal assault on a child. 

 

Child Rapist Gets Stayed Prison Term, 20 Years Probationed-prison-term-20-years-probation

Dakota County, Minnesota, May 7, 2013: Dennis Michael Roy, pleaded guilty to felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct after raping and repeatedly assaulting a 5-year old girl, a relative, from Eagan (Case No. 19HA-CR-12-495).

Roy faced a maximum of 30 years in prison and $40,000 in fines…but instead he walked free. Roy appeared before Judge David L. Knutson, who handed down his sentence on March 22, 2013. Judge Knutson sentenced Roy to a 16-year stayed prison term and 20 years of probation.

In September 2014, Roy was found guilty of a probation violation for loitering in public with an open bottle of alcohol. He served 45 days in jail.

Roy has 18 prior convictions, including second-degree burglary, multiple motor-vehicle thefts, multiple DUIs, trespassing, disorderly conduct and multiple domestic assaults.

The girl involved continues to struggle with the assault, and suffers from the effects of trauma.

Who judges the judges?

Will Judge Knutson ever be held accountable? Unlikely because Judge Knutson is now a member of the Board of Judicial Standards that responds to complaints about Minnesota state court judges for violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Members Minnesota Board of Judicial Standards

Justice has not been served; the community remains at risk.

 

 

Continued Lawlessness

Learn More:
“Dangerous State of Justice” Executive Summary
Minnesota’s Decriminalization of Child Sexual Exploitation
Examples in the News Now
To read or download full report, click on cover image
Check back for new links and information

NEWS RELEASE

Tuesday November 29, 2016
New Report Examines Minnesota’s “Dangerous State of Justice”
Most Child Predators Get Probation, Child Pornography Decriminalized

(MINNESOTA) Minnesota courts are granting probation for most sexual assaults on children and have virtually decriminalized trafficking in child pornography, according to a report just released by the National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT).

PROTECT’s 45-page report, “Dangerous State of Justice,” found that 65% of all offenders convicted of felony sexual assault against children (Criminal Sexual Conduct 1-4) never see a day in prison. In those crimes, 90% of victims are girls and 40% are under age 13.

“When a Stanford student got probation for raping a woman earlier this year, the nation erupted in outrage,” said J. Christian, CEO of PROTECT. “Yet, behind these Minnesota numbers are hundreds of similar cases, where judges gave rapists probation for attacks on children.”

The report also examines the Minnesota Incest Loophole, which allows judges to grant probation instead of prison for the most serious sexual assaults against children if the court deems it to be in the best interest of “the family unit.”

Perhaps the most shocking finding, says PROTECT, is that Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines have decriminalized trafficking of video and photographs of children being raped, tortured and sexually displayed. A review of 909 cases from 2001-2014 found that 90% of those convicted of possession and distribution of child abuse imagery (child pornography) were given probation.

“Dangerous State of Justice” lists sentencing patterns of specific Minnesota judges, details the state’s outrageous sentencing guidelines, and discusses problems with how child protective services responds to public reports of child maltreatment. It also makes 19 specific recommendations for legislative action.

“These judges haven’t gone rogue,” said Grier Weeks of PROTECT, one of the report’s authors. “Tolerance for sexual violence is deeply embedded in the Minnesota justice system. But it is deeply hypocritical to decry sexual violence and exploitation then treat it like a trivial crime.”

PROTECT is urging Minnesotans to ask their state representatives and senators to read the report and take action.

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Below are the two judges that have been involved in my case no. 19HA-CR-15-4227.  

What’s interesting is that I have received a probation violation for discussing my own case on social media ( a major free speech violation). My hearing is scheduled for September 28th, 2017. The recommendation is that the stay of execution be vacated and I would serve the remainder of my sentence, (4 more months in jail). As you’ll see in the documents below, Judge Knutson and Judge Asphaug gave a higher percentage of probation vs. prison time to criminal sexual assailants of children.

So, the bottom line is that you will get more time for protecting children than abusing them.

Give these Judges a call and ask them for an explanation of their sentencing decisions and if it’s normal procedure to give a harsher sentence to those that protect children vs. assaulting children.

Judge Karen Asphaug
Judge Karen Asphaug                                                    

Assistant Chief Judge David L. Knutson

Assistant Chief Judge David L. Knutson

 

 

Judge David Knutson Retaliates Against Red Herring Alert

Source: Judge David Knutson Retaliates Against Red Herring Alert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Read More About Judge David Knutson:

Commentary: Bailiffs Acting Like Judge Knutson’s Personal Thugs

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

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

Never Forget: Judge Knutson – Stayed Sentence for Child Rapist

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.”

Minnesota Exposed: “Tough on Crime” but Silent on Abuse (Grazzini-Rucki Case Update)

I’m the toughest on crime that ever lived, I make Elliott Ness look like nothing.  I think for some reason the authoritiehave dropped the ball on this case.” – per Ron Rosenbaum (Holding Court Podcast Thu, 22 October 2015) claims he is paraphrasing James Backstrom.

County Attorney James C. Backstrom

The Lakeville police have mishandled the investigation of the missing Rucki sisters – worked to cover up child abuse, and tainted the investigation with bias and misinformation. Innocent children are being punished for the actions of an abuser, and those who are charged with protecting them have failed to keep them safe.

 Ongoing Child Abuse Cover Up 

From the beginning, the Lakeville Police have failed to protect those victimized by David Rucki – Sandra and the children, the neighbors, and the public. Had the Lakeville Police properly intervened, the escalating behavior could have been prevented, and the children could have been spared the abuse they have suffered (and continue to suffer.)

 

Miles

Laura Miles GAL Coordinator

The Lakeville police are aware of multiple abuse allegations concerning the Rucki sisters made before their disappearance. NONE of these allegations were ever investigated by the police. The sisters had also attempted to run away in Sept. 2012, again because they did not feel safe.

The Rucki sisters also reported  abuse to numerous professionals, doctors, therapists, friends – and each time the family court professionals, under the jurisdiction of Judge Knutson, ignored or dismissed their cries for help. Even after being “recovered”, the Rucki sisters again stated to anyone who would listen, that they were afraid of their father, David Rucki, that he had abused them, and that they would run away if returned to his care. Instead of listening to their cries for help, the police and court system have chosen to listen to the abuser.

Judge David Knutson

Judge David Knutson

 

Dr. Paul Reitman, Clinical Psychologist

JFX

Julie Friedrich, GAL

 Rogue Drone – Detective Jim Dronnen Erases Report of OFP Violation

Image from sunthisweek.com

Image from sunthisweek.com

Det. Jim Dronen should have never been assigned to this case because of his past involvement with David Rucki.

In 2011, Det. Dronnen handled a case where Rucki was charged with an OFP violation. Dronnen had the charge not only dismissed but wiped completely off MNCIS.

Lakeville Appoints Det. Dronen to “Most Bizarre” Case

Det. Jim Dronnen began working on the case in 2014, and bragged that “the Rucki case was virtually the only one he worked on”. How is this possible? What about the violent crimes, unsolved cases and other threats to public safety? How can the Lakeville police direct one investigator to this case – and yet also fail to issue an Amber Alert or fail to do a local search for the missing sisters?

The Lakeville police also failed to contact Trish Van Pilsum, who interviewed the the girls for a story after they had run away. There was a crucial period of time to gather information that was totally ignored. Yet, at a later date, the Lakeville police had multiple conversations with Brandon Stahl and Michael Brodkorb of the Star Tribune…after the girls were missing for almost 2 years! What is the difference? The Star Tribune had aligned with the Lakeville police in covering up abuse, while Van Pilsum was exposing it.

The Lakeville police had mishandled previous reports of abuse made in connection to David Rucki, and needed to keep the allegations silent to avoid responsibility for their role in the escalating conflicts. In order for this cover-up to be successful, one party must be targeted a scapegoat. 

Just A “Very Sad Case…(of a) Nasty Divorce” or a High Profile Case for Lakeville?

Instead of correctly naming, and investigating the abuse, the Lakeville police have begun a disinfo campaign to say this case is really just a “high conflict” divorce issue.

Lakeville Police Chief Jeff Long says this case “is one of the most ‘bizarre’ cases he has seen throughout his 29-year career..” Keep in mind that Chief Long has investigated murder, rape and other serious crimes.. and yet we are to believe this is “the most bizarre”? 

The Lakeville police ignored the history of abuse, ignored documentation of abuse , and ignored the reason the Rucki sisters ran away. They stated they did not want to live in the care of paternal aunt Tammy Love, which is in itself may be an indicator of abuse. 

If the sisters did not run away due to abuse, what led up to this? According to Detective Dronnen,of the Lakeville Police Dept. “This is a very sad case that just shows how nasty divorce can be…When you have people that are just working so hard to win, it can just make things really, really nasty and there’s really no winners.” 

The police listened with a sympathetic ear to David complain about suing Sandra for the money in her family trust. What does that have to do with the missing Rucki sisters?

4bebc-brodkorb_rucki_love_elliot_donehower_19av-fa-11-1273_012616

 

 

 

Millionaire David Rucki then used money from the Wetterling Foundation to pay for all expenses for the Rucki sisters to be shipped, with a retired security officer so they would not run away again, on a plane to California for “intense therapy lasting 6-8 hours a day” to “de-program” the girls in a treatment facility, transcripts state, which was used by the Feds on numerous occasions.

David confided to an officer that “the MN Attorney General’s Office was conducting an investigation which involved the two missing girls in this case.”  According to David Rucki, the Attorney General’s Office is now involved in a missing persons case? 

The Lakeville police also utilized the resources of the BCA to collect DNA samples on the sisters as well as dental records. 

Why all of this effort? I would argue that Lakeville’s interest in this case was not so much in finding the Rucki sisters, but had to do more with this being a high-profile case that would increase the prestige of the police department. 

 A Pat on the Back for the Good ‘Ole Boys

IN 2015, Det. Dronnen was named officer of the year. And Det. Dronnen recently received a Medal of Commendation related to his work on the Rucki case (May 2016) . Mayor Matt Little personally praised him, saying, “If you continue to receive all that pressure, we’ve got your back and we’ll support you for the whole way.” Det. Dronnen is given one of the highest awards for law enforcement service, usually reserved for those who risk their lives in the line of duty, for one case that was supplemented with help from the Star Tribune?

If this is not a Red Herring Alert, I don’t know what one is! Stay tuned for updates on the Grazzini-Rucki case… 

Additional Sources:

Charges Filed Following Discovery of Missing Rucki Sisters

The Provocateur: David Rucki’s Greatest Hits (Michael Volpe)

Did 20/20 manipulate the Rucki story to hide abuse? (Michael Volpe)

(2011) Judge Knutson Orders Reunification Therapy with David Rucki and Children, while HRO in place

Lakeville detective receives medal of commendation

RĒ TALLY Ā SHEE ŌNN? (Det Dronnen)