Sandra Grazzini-Rucki admitted in testimony this morning during her criminal trial that she had repeatedly been “dishonest” when she previously testified under oath in her divorce and custody proceeding with her ex-husband, David Rucki.
Grazzini-Rucki has been charged with eight felony counts of deprivation of parental rights involving the disappearance of her daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki. The sisters ran from their home on April 19, 2013 during a custody and divorce proceeding involving their parents.
While being cross-examined yesterday by Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathryn Keena, Grazzini-Rucki read transcripts of her “dishonest” answers to numerous questions in court proceedings where she claimed she did not know the location of her missing daughters.
Keena questioned Grazzini-Rucki for almost four hours, providing the jurors with multiple examples of Grazzini-Rucki’s “dishonest” past testimony. Keena also introduced as evidence a collection of lawsuits filed by Grazzini-Rucki in both federal and state court which contained examples of where Grazzini-Rucki was contradicting her own testimony in her current criminal trial.
Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney, Stephen Grigsby, called his client back to the witness stand to testify this morning in an attempt to correct the damage caused by Keena’s surgical examination of Grazzini-Rucki’s past dishonesty in court filings and sworn testimony.
During her testimony today, Grazzini-Rucki was more responsive to questions asked by her attorney and took little time to acknowledge her wrongdoing.
“I am completely aware that I was dishonest in my answers,” said Grazzini-Rucki, who added “but it wasn’t completely false.”
Grazzini-Rucki attempted to explain to the jury how her past testimony was “dishonesty” but not “completely false.”
Regarding the lawsuits with inaccurate or inconsistent statements which were filed on the behalf of Grazzini-Rucki and bore her authorization signature, Grazzini-Rucki took partial responsibility, but also blamed the errors on her family court attorney Michelle MacDonald.
MacDonald has only made two brief appearances in the courtroom during Grazzini-Rucki’s trial.
Testimony had ended in Grazzini-Rucki’s trial and closing statements will begin when the trial begins tomorrow at 10 AM at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings.
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 – 944 days after they disappeared – the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.
Rucki was reunited with his daughters days after they were found and they live with him at the family’s home in Lakeville.
Please check back to Missing in Minnesota for additional updates on Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial and follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter for live updates throughout the day.