Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her allies continue to use fake news and propaganda to distort the truth involving her criminal conviction. The latest example comes from Michael Volpe, who writes for Communities Digital News, and who also co-authored a book with Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney Michelle MacDonald about this case.
In a post published last Friday, Mr. Volpe repeated a false statement that David Rucki was present in the room with Samantha Rucki while she testified during her mother’s criminal trial last July.
The inaccurate claim that David Rucki and his sister, Dr. Tammy Love were in the room with Samantha when she testified has been continually used as a talking-point by supporters of Grazzini-Rucki since she was convicted for her role in the disappearance of her children.
Mr. Volpe is based in Chicago, Illinois and he disseminates Grazzini-Rucki’s propaganda masqueraded as news. He has never attended any of the court proceedings involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the other adults charged and convicted for their role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. Mr. Volpe is frequently interviewed with Grazzini-Rucki on podcasts about her criminal case and family court drama.
Key facts about testimony by Samantha Rucki
Samantha and Gianna Rucki were subpoenaed by their mother’s criminal attorney Stephen Grigsby to testify at her criminal trial. As previously reported, an agreement was eventually reached between the attorneys that Gianna Rucki would not testify, but Samantha Rucki would be required to testify in the trial.
The text below is from a story published on July 22, 2016 on Missing in Minnesota.
To lesson the trauma Samantha Rucki would endure by having to testify in her mother’s criminal trial, her testimony was taken in a small conference room and was live-streamed into the courtroom for the jury.
Samantha Rucki arrived at the courthouse in Hastings before 1PM yesterday and was in a conference room on the second floor as she waited for her attorney, Pat Elliott to arrive.
Grigsby walked into the conference before Samantha’s attorney had arrived, in an attempt to question Samantha about her testimony. Grigsby was instructed to leave the conference room and a Dakota County Sheriff’s Deputy guarded the door to prevent unauthorized access until Samantha’s attorney arrived minutes later.
An agreement was also reached to prevent Sandra Grazzini-Rucki from being in the conference room during Samantha’s testimony. Grigsby took testimony from Grazzini-Rucki, who waved her rights granted by the Confrontation Clause found in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to confront any witnesses in her criminal trial.
Judge Colleen King remained in the courtroom, while Judge Ashaug, Grigsby, Keena, and a court reporter participated in the conference with Samantha during her testimony. Samantha’s attorney and her grandmother (David Rucki’s mother), were also in the conference, but were not shown on the video during Samantha’s testimony.
Sandra Grazzini-Rucki showed no emotion during her daughter’s testimony. Her attorney gave Grazzini-Rucki a box of tissues while Samantha was testifying, but Grazzini-Rucki never took a tissue.
Samantha’s testimony lasted around 20 minutes.
Samantha Rucki’s testimony validated her previous statements to law enforcement that her father was not abusive to her, nor did Samantha witness her father be abusive to any of her siblings.
A review of the court transcript confirms both the testimony of Samantha, the people in the room during her testimony and the accuracy of the story published on Missing in Minnesota from July 22, 2016.
Attorney Pat Elliott, counsel for Samantha Rucki, was present in the conference room at the time of her testimony during her mother’s criminal trial. Mr. Elliott confirmed this morning that the people in the room included Judge Karen Asphaug, Kathy Keena, Stephen Grigsby, a court reporter, and Samantha’s grandmother.
Mr. Elliott also confirmed that David Rucki was not present in or near the room at any time during Samantha’s testimony.
Since David Rucki was a witness in the criminal trial of Grazzini-Rucki, he would be prohibited from being in the courtroom during any testimony, as all witness were sequestered and were only allowed in the courtroom during their own testimony.
The agenda to smear the testimony of Samantha Rucki
The frantic attempts to create “alternative facts” surrounding the testimony of Samantha Rucki has made it difficult for Mr. Volpe and others to keep their own facts straight.
In Mr. Volpe’s book he co-authored with Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney Michelle MacDonald, they wrote that David Rucki “waited just outside the door.” In another version, Volpe places David Rucki and his sister both in the room during Samantha’s testimony.
They simply can’t keep their story straight.
The facts surrounding the testimony of Samantha Rucki have been twisted by Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters over the last year. By incorrectly claiming that David Rucki and his sister were in the room when Samantha testified, it creates the false narrative that she was forced to testify as her father and aunt were in the room, while her mother was excluded.
Also, Samantha Rucki did not testify via “Skpye” as claimed by Mr. Volpe and others, but rather through a secure video-conference system.
Again, by claiming the testimony was conducted via “Skype” an attempt is being made to diminish her testimony. The decision to allow Samantha Rucki to testify in a small conference room via video-conferencing was agreed upon by all parties, including Grazzini-Rucki, a key fact ignored by Mr. Volpe and others.
Mr. Volpe did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Caroline Rice did not respond to a request on Twitter to comment about her inaccurate statement.
After being notified about the factual inaccuracies contained in Mr. Volpe’s latest story, Jacquie Kubin, President of Communities Digital News, responded that Mr. Volpe’s story had “been corrected…”
Mr. Volpe’s post from May 5, 2017 has been corrected and the claim that David Rucki was in the room during the testimony of his daughter has been removed. The updated post from Mr. Volpe does not contain any notation that the post has been corrected or updated, and similar inaccurate language about David Rucki and his sister being in the room when Samantha Rucki testified continues to appears in other posts from Mr. Volpe.
Missing in Minnesota is committed to a reporting philosophy based on facts, not fabrication
The legal drama surrounding Sandra Grazzini-Rucki in family court has created a cult-like group of followers who were drawn to Grazzini-Rucki’s case because many were also involved with their own disputes in family court. Her followers knew little about the true facts involving Grazzini-Rucki’s lawless behavior in court and her unwillingness to follow court orders.
The vast majority of Grazzini-Rucki’s online supporters have never attended a court hearing involving Grazzini-Rucki. This reckless and flagrant disregard for the truth also extends to self-described “investigative journalists” and bloggers who continue to disseminate misinformation about the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki and the criminal trials of those charged.
During her criminal trial, Grazzini-Rucki testified that she had been repeatedly “dishonest” when she previously testified under oath in her divorce and custody proceeding with her ex-husband, David Rucki.
A page has been published on Missing in Minnesota to provide verifiable facts and primary source documents to refute false statements and fabricated incidents made by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters: Fact vs. Fabrication.
Missing in Minnesota is committed to providing our readers with court documents, and a reporting philosophy based on facts, not fabrications. Check back to Fact vs. Fiction for updates, or follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter.