The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal conviction today for her role in the disappearance of her daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki who were abducted by Grazzini-Rucki near her daughter’s home Lakeville, Minnesota on April 19, 2013, during a custody and divorce dispute with her ex-husband, David Rucki.
According to the ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Grazzini-Rucki will be permitted to execute the remainder of her sentence, a point both Grazzini-Rucki’s public defender and the Dakota County Attorney’s Office agreed she should be allowed to do.
In July 2016, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.
The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.
On November 18, 2015, the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.
The Rucki sisters were missing for a total of 944 days and were reunited with their father days after they were found. They continue to live with their father and other siblings at the family’s home in Lakeville.
Since being convicted in July 2016 on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights, Grazzini-Rucki, and her supporters have continued their behavior of making false allegations against David Rucki, his family, the media, law enforcement, and the judiciary.
Her disdain for law enforcement and the court system has become more flagrant, her rhetoric more incendiary, and her behavior increasingly dangerous.
Grazzini-Rucki is currently on probation for her role in the disappearance of her children, which she has repeatedly violated. In March, she announced earlier that she and others will be targeting the family members of judges, attorneys, and county staff, including their children.
Per the terms of her sentence, Grazzini-Rucki is still scheduled to report to jail on November 18, 2017, to serve 15 days.
Four adults charged for role in disappearance of Rucki sisters; all were convicted
The Dakota County Attorney’s Office charged four adults for their involvement in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters for 944 days.
Dede Evavold, a friend, and advisor to Grazzini-Rucki was convicted in September 2016 on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights related to the disappearance the girls.
The judge said at Evavold’s sentencing hearing that she “showed no remorse or comprehension” for her actions against the Rucki family, adding that Evavold’s actions “disrupted a family for 944 days.” Evavold’s sister wrote a letter to the judge claiming that Evavold has an “undiagnosed mental illness” and blaming Evavold’s association with Michelle MacDonald for her difficulties.
Evavold appealed her criminal conviction, but her conviction was affirmed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals in October.
In January 2017, Gina and Doug Dahlen each pleaded guilty to one count of deprivation of parental rights for their role in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. By pleading guilty to one count, the remaining counts against the Dahlens were dismissed.
Doug and Gina Dahlen admitted in court they knew David Rucki had been awarded custody of his children and that they failed to contact to David Rucki or law enforcement that the missing Rucki kids were living on their ranch.
In May 2017, Doug and Gina Dahlen were each sentenced to one year in jail, but they served only 20 days in jail.
The decision by the Dahlens to plead guilty ensured that Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathy Kenna successfully prosecuted all of the people criminally charged related to the disappearance of the Rucki sisters.
Below is the unpublished opinion released this morning from the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirming Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal conviction.