Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is sentenced in domestic case
Grazzini-Rucki was to serve thirty days immediately and fifteen days each of the next six years on the anniversary of the date authorities found her two daughters, November 17. However, Grazzini-Rucki chose to serve the sentence all at once, a total of as long as 233 days, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Judge Asphaug handed down the sentence even though the prosecutor, Kathryn Keena, asked for only the probation and no jail time. Keena said she was fulfilling a promise made to Grazzini-Rucki’s daughter, Samantha, one of the two daughters who ran away.
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.
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.
Judge Asphaug’s chambers directed all calls to Beau Berentson, public affairs officer for the Minnesota courts, who did not respond to an email for comment.
David Rucki made a victim impact statement which included the following statement:
“She is not the same woman I married twenty-five years ago. Sandy, that woman, is gone. She doesn’t realize how blessed she is. She cannot comprehend the pain and trauma on her children. We need to free Sandra from her distorted reality. How Sandy thought alienation of the family was a good plan? Nico was forced by Sandy to write false statement on Facebook. They were not the truth they were his mother’s words.”
Rucki thanked several people including the Lakeville Police Department, his sister Tammi and Brandon Stahl of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The Lakeville Police Department has declined all comments on the case directing all questions to the Dakota County Prosecutor’s Office which did not respond to several CDN emails for comment. An email to David Rucki’s attorney, Lisa Elliott, was also left unreturned.
Stahl wrote an explosive story on the case in April 2015 when Dale Nathan first revealed that he was in the care of Grazzini-Rucki on April 19, 2013. Nathan would repeat this story several times including on ABC’s 20/20. Stahl wrote the story on the two-year anniversary of the girls’ disappearance. Curiously, however, Stahl confirmed to CDN that this was the first story he’d written on the case.
CDN learned that a third party approached Stahl in January of 2015 asking that he write about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki but Stahl declined saying the presence of Nathan posed a problem since he was a disbarred lawyer at the time. Stahl declined to comment when CDN asked why Nathan’s presence was no longer an issue.
Stahl has also declined to provide details of David Rucki’s voluminous criminal and violent history. Stahl also declined to write about Samantha Rucki’s June 30, 2016 police interview when CDN provided it to him.
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 .