Defying Death: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Pleads for Lives of her Children, Demands Justice
Dakota County, Minnesota – February 04, 2018 – Sandra Grazzini-Rucki speaks out about domestic violence, and family court failures to protect victims of abuse and their children, in recently released video “Defying Death”. View here: tinyurl.com/defyingdeath
In the video, Sandra describes 20+ years of physical, sexual, emotional abuse, and cruelty, at the hands of her violent and controlling husband, David Rucki. After filing for divorce, the family court system became an extension of the abuse Sandra suffered. The judge presiding over the case, David L. Knutson, was chosen by Rucki, who had previous dealings with him in criminal court, and was given preferential treatment. In family court, Judge Knuston continued to favor Rucki and broke the law, and violated the Constitutional rights of Sandra in doing so. As a result of the over 4,000 orders Judge Knutson issued against Sandra, she is forcibly separated from her five children, homeless and destitute.
Judge Knutson and other court professionals failed to protect the children from abuse, and endangered their lives by giving custody to their father, perpetrator. The abuse Sandra, and the children, suffered is well documented (lengthy CPS file, police reports, statements from the children, recommendations from a social worker stating two of the children should be placed in foster care to protect them from Rucki, and more). When the children raised allegations of physical, sexual, and mental abuse from their father, Judge Knutson and court professionals not only ignored their cries for help but also pressured them to recant abuse. Two of Sandra’s daughters were so afraid for their lives that in April 2013, they ran away and went into hiding for two years. Sandra made national headlines after being charged for her role in assisting her daughters after they ran away. She plead the affirmative defense during her criminal trial, stating her actions were taken to protect her children imminent harm. Sandra was later convicted of parental deprivation after the judge presiding over her case (who also had past dealing with Rucki) suppressed 80% of evidence proving the abuse, which then prevented her from be able to prove her defense.
Sandra says Rucki is a risk to the community, and claims he has not only abused her children but has sexually abused another child. She points to Rucki’s lengthy criminal record, which includes violent offenses and numerous protective orders filed against him, to demonstrate what he is capable of. Sandra says Rucki should be criminally charged, and Judge Knutson, and others in the court, should be held accountable.
Sandra takes great risk in speaking out, in the video states she is “coming out of hiding”, meaning she fears retaliation for exposing the failures of family court, and the corruption in her case. Sandra continues to be stalked, harassed and threatened by Rucki and without protection from the legal system, her life remains in danger.
Defying death, Sandra has a message for her violent ex-husband, and the legal system that continues to protect and enable him, “You will not break me, I will not be silent. I will continue to fight. I will continue to speak out. I will continue to document and prove for the rest of my life, over and over, if I have to…but we are going to stop this, and in the end we will get justice.”
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