Rucki Case Part #2: Family Court Corruption in Dakota County Minnesota

Sandra 'Sam' Grazzini-Rucki

A guest view by Evelyn Hartley,’ someone who knows quite a bit about the case of David Rucki v Sandra ‘Sam’ Grazzini-Rucki, adds some details and opinion to Michael Volpe’s story Parental Alienation Scandal: From Affluent Family to Felon: The Tragic Tale of Sandra ‘Sam’ Grazzini

Guest View

By ‘Evelyn Hartley’

Minnesota has a long and tragic history of corruption failures in its family court, guardian ad litem [GAL] program, and child protection system.

Thank you, Michael Volpe, for reporting where ‘lamestream’ media fails to go – the truth.

The records and documentation Volpe has publicly posted from the actual Rucki court record, social services, David Rucki’s criminal cases/harassment orders, etc., clearly show that the Dakota County Minnesota family court system not only failed to protect the Rucki children from abuse but also colluded with a dangerous abuser in doing so.

David Rucki

There were so many disturbing things I read in the records.

The Rucki Children’s Desperate Bid for Safety from an Abusive Father

At one time, all five Rucki children attempted to run away after they learned that the family court planned to put them in the custody of the abusive father they feared.

Rucki Children Labeled Liars, Coerced into Traumatic Reunification Therapy

Instead of taking action to hold David Rucki accountable, the family court, the GAL Julie Friedrich, and hand-selected professionals called the children liars and forced them into reunification therapy.

The GAL Julie Friedrich called the shots on the fate of five children.

The Rucki children resisted reunification therapy, and one became physically ill after being forced into court-ordered “therapy” with their father, David. Bailiffs were used to intimidate the children and guard the door so they could not leave the sessions.

Rucki Sisters Cry for Help Ignored, Mislabelled, and Betrayed by the System

Gianna (left) and Samantha (right) Rucki

The two Rucki sisters, Samantha and Gianna, who ran away, consistently reported their father’s drinking problems, physical violence, threats, and abuse of their mother, Sam.

Dakota County CPS, Dr. James Gilbertson, the GAL, and other professionals noted this in the reports, which Judge David L. Knutson ignored.

Judge David Knutson

Judge Knutson and GAL Friedrich also ignored reports of sexual abuse. Behaviors consistent with trauma and exposure to domestic violence in the Rucki children were mislabeled as though they suffered from “parental alienation.”

Michelle MacDonald is handcuffed literally to a wheelchair while she represents her client — and Michelle is not disabled!

Michelle MacDonald and Sandra ‘Sam’ Grazzini-Rucki

Judge Knutson conducted his version of a kangaroo trial by handcuffing Sam’s attorney Michelle MacDonald to a wheelchair because she took legal photos to prove the court’s curious deceptions to quell public attendance of the trial. Yes, you read that right the attorney for Sam was handcuffed to a wheelchair on the judge’s orders while he conducted his fair and impartial trial – wherein he ruled the father got everything. When does Judge Knutson get defrocked?

Rucki Sisters’ Cry for Safety Falls on Deaf Ears, Despite Social Worker’s Concerns

After being discovered in Nov. 2015, Samantha and Gianna Rucki again raised allegations of their father’s abuse, hoping someone would help them.

A Dakota County social worker believed the abuse happened and fought to limit physical contact with their father, David, to supervised visits only.

David Rucki 

The social worker also thought the girls would be safest in foster care. Samantha and Gianna were represented by an attorney who also fought to keep them in foster care rather than with their father.

The abuse, personal statements of both Rucki sisters, the professional recommendation from a Dakota County social worker, and evidence of abuse in the record were not enough to convince Judge Karen Asphaug, who is close friends with Judge Knuston.

Rucki Sisters’ Reunification Therapy Reveals Isolation, Coercion and Fear

A guard escorted the Rucki sisters from the courtroom to their transportation, where they were shipped out of state to enter into reunification therapy with their father, David Rucki.

The reunification therapy was conducted in a remote location, where both girls were isolated from any human contact except their father and the “therapist.” They were dependent on the therapist for shelter, food, clothing, and survival. There was no place to run for help. No sign of civilization. No access to phones or electronics. They did not have free movement.

By this time, the girls had seen every possibility of getting help turn against them, and the system had jailed their protector, their mother, Sam.

It was under these circumstances that the Rucki children recanted their father’s abuse.

Dark and Troubling Origins of Reunification Therapy

Pro-pedophilia psychiatrist Dr. Richard Gardner developed reunification therapy. Gardner made his living as a court witness and testified in custody trials. He died of “suicide” by overdosing on pills and slashing himself in the neck and chest. Reunification therapy has been called “junk science,” and its use is controversial.

From Road Rage to Reunification: Rucki’s Troubling Pattern of Violence and Control

David Rucki’s abusive behavior continued. At the time that reunification therapy began with Samantha and Gianna, David was on probation for a road rage incident where he brutally beat, with his bare fists, a motorist in the parking lot of a local grocery store.

Judge Asphaug seemed to have had one-pointed determination to convict Sam and exonerate David, and if that pleased Judge Knutson – isn’t that what this was all about? The lives of children and their happiness rank a far distant third to the happiness of those who really matter – first the powerful judge, and second the paying, pretending-to-be-poor, psycho father who wets the beaks of all the conspirators. The Rucki case is just a microcosm of the system  

Witness Tampering: Rucki Girls Forced into Reunification Therapy Amidst Criminal Investigation

While the Rucki girls attended reunification therapy, their mother’s criminal investigation and trial regarding their disappearance was underway. Both girls were material witnesses and would be called to court to testify. So ordering the girls into reunification therapy first and coercing them to recant abuse allegations and sympathize with the identified perpetrator is witness tampering. It is also abusive.

David Rucki played poor and got rich.

Rucki’s Dubious Financial Maneuvers Raise Eyebrows

David Rucki was awarded 100% of the marital property in the divorce – the business, multiple houses, multiple vehicles, bank accounts, personal property, and even Sam’s inheritance.

Yet Rucki claims he is living in poverty and collected welfare benefits and government assistance while living a life of luxury.

Mugshot of Sam – Oct. 18, 2015

While Sam was incarcerated for charges related to parental deprivation, with no income and no chance of employment, David sought to collect child support. David remained in the family home and kept Sam’s name attached to the property to further his financial schemes.

Collusion and Complicity: Dakota County and Minnesota’s Role in the Rucki Case

Dakota County and the State of Minnesota have been willing accomplices throughout the Rucki case – colluding with David despite concerns raised, complaints filed, and documentation of violations of the law, violations of human rights, suspected financial fraud, and court failures to protect children from abuse.

Homelessness is probably the safest place for Sam because she is clearly unsafe in Minnesota.

About the author

Guest View


Click here to post a comment

  • Kidding me right?! Mike has stayed in contact with Sam on a weekly basis, saying “she is dependent on me” so blinded from the truth. While Sam was working in Florida at a bar serving alcohol to underage kids (I found out she was charged and Mike didn’t want to believe me) another lie Sam told Mike until she got busted. Mike even met up with her as he has pictures of her and him wearing bathing suits.while her girls are at a farm Sam is living it up in Florida pretending, and playing victim. I spoke with Sam! As sweet as she sounds, she definitely used her looks to get what she wanted and guys like Mike don’t research everything only what they want to. He does this with the majority of his cases which are mostly females. He targets females, preferably attractive females. He victim dates. This is not slander because I have the proof, thee are his words! I witnessed these with my eyes and ears. He was in love with Sam! Ask The Lion News! The Reporter who ended up dropping the restraining order against him! He has a FB page designated to Sam! He is obsessed and if anyone tries to make a point or discuss this case where he could possibly be wrong he’d flip out in rage! I copied this entire comment in case you decided to not post it. It will get shared as he is very well aware of what I know and have on him regarding this case and his part in helping hide her and covering for her. I’m sure David Rucki would love to know

    • Much better if there is only David Rucki favored propaganda. Michelle MacDonald recently had her law license revoked for the incident described. Dan Abrams, a few months ago, also smeared Michelle about the incident where she was forced to conduct the trial handcuffed to a wheelchair. Why do you only want David Rucki to have a say?

      • I’d love to tell David the truth about your part in this Mike! Let’s give him a call, shall we? After all you and Sam kept in contact at least on a weekly basis because you said she was dependent on you. I found out she got arrested and you argued with me when it was right there!!?? You don’t “Investigate” Mike! You believe women are Esquire Attorneys just because they reach out to you on social media and say they are then you give them over $12,000 in less then 6 months in 2021!, This is a woman who purely scammed you, a drug addict, who uses men for money and you were an easy target who reported on her story without much research either. Two things you’ve said, “I’m getting famous”, and “A lot of beautiful women are now reaching out to me”! In 2021! Your parents pay 💯 of your bills at 49 years old! Your mom does all your clothes shopping! You intentionally had a baby that will be one years old in less than ten days and don’t help support the baby or mother in any way and your mom even pays for your entitled a** a cleaning lady every week, two weeks to clean your tiny small paid off condo which is why you have no idea how to clean anything, like the toilet you clogged up constantly, load a dishwasher, god forbid clean up after yourself, had to be taught how to make freaking coffee and still can’t do it, never knew you can’t put aluminum foil in the microwave, or let’s see NOT PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND!!! Yeah, I don’t think after inviting Sam to our wedding (SMH) you are rational, calm enough, mature or responsible to do anything that requires actual WORK, not hanging around on your computer from home all day. Sometimes grownups have to do things they don’t necessarily like doing but have to do them because that’s called LIFE!!!

  • “Behaviors consistent with trauma and exposure to domestic violence in the Rucki children were mislabeled as though they suffered from “parental alienation.”

    This is what they continue to try and do to the Ambrose teens. They’re deemed to be liars and mind controlled even after three years in Ambrose’s sole custody.

    He can’t look at himself. Blake’s everyone else like the monster in this story. So aimed for the mom and kids.

  • For more information about the whole guardian ad litem scam, please read my law review article: Richard Ducote, Guardians ad Litem in Private Custody Litigation: The Case for Abolition, 3 Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law 106 (2003).

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


Discover more from Frank Report

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading