Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was sentenced by Judge Karen Asphaug to serve 34 days in jail and for the following six years, she will serve 15 days in jail on November 18 for the next six years – the anniversary of the day her daughters were found, for her involvement in the disappearance of her two daughters for over two years.
Grazzini-Rucki, who was immediately taken into custody, will also be on probation for the next six years, and she is prohibited from having contact with any of the victims.
Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty in July on six counts of deprivation of parental rights related to 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.
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 – 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.
During Grazzini-Rucki’s sentencing hearing, David Rucki read a victim impact statement to the court. Rucki said:
I have a sliver of hope that the sentence of this court will free Sandy from her distorted view of reality. A jury of her peers heard the overwhelming evidence presented against Sandy and convicted her on six counts of deprivation of parental rights. Sandy no longer understands what it means to be a “parent” and therefore I do not believe she understands what she took from me, or more importantly, our children.
While I was following the instructions of the family court to help heal our family, Sandy was creating an environment of paranoia and fear with our children. Rather than taking the necessary steps to make herself healthy, Sandy used our children to create the false impression that I was a boogie man, who was peeping thought the windows to stalk his ex-wife. She made up stories that I threatened her, that I threatened the children.
Rucki ended his victim impact statement by talking directly to his children:
I love you very much and your father will be home soon, as you are the best part of my day, my reason for living.
Additional criminal trials scheduled
Three additional people have been criminally charged with felonies related to the disappearance of the girls: Dede (Deirdre) Evavold, Douglas Dahlen and his wife, Gina Dahlen.
Evavold’s criminal trial is scheduled to begin on September 26, 2016, at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings. The criminal trials for the Dahlens, who own the ranch where the girls were found, have been scheduled for early next year.
Last month, the Dakota County Attorney’s Office filed additional charges against Evavold for her involvement in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters.
UPDATE: Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom has issued a press release with an update on Grazzini-Rucki’s sentencing:
The initial sentence handed down in court today by Judge Asphaug, which included a current jail sanction of 34 days and placing Grazzini-Rucki on probation for six years with additional annual jail and Sentence to Service sanctions will likely not be imposed because following the sentencing hearing Grazzini-Rucki through her attorney demanded the execution of her sentence, which she is allowed to do under the law. While this will require an additional court hearing, the ultimate sanction that will be imposed in this case based upon Grazzini-Rucki’s demand to execute her sentence will require her to serve an additional 233 days in jail (in addition to the 133 days she has previously served in connection with this matter). Grazzini-Rucki was immediately taken into custody following today’s sentencing hearing.
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