The case against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki has turned to chaos and most of the blame can be laid at the feet of Dakota County Judge Karen Asphaug.

Grazzini-Rucki was convicted in the fall 2016 of deprivation of parental rights for hiding two of her daughters from her abusive ex-husband- her ex-husband David Rucki has been involved in a bar fighta road rage incidentincidents of stalkingonce stuck a gun to his son Nico’s head, and chased after his daughter Samantha on her thirteenth birthday.

(A full dossier of David Rucki’s violence can be found here)
The conviction came only after Asphaug denied almost all evidence of David Rucki’s violence and abuse

The maximum sentence for the crime Grazzini-Rucki was convicted of was one year and one day and probation was assumed for anyone with no prior criminal record.

Though probation was assumed since Grazzini-Rucki had no prior criminal record, not only did Asphaug sentence Grazzini-Rucki to the maximum but made her serve it fifteen days at a time over a period of six years.

Grazzini-Rucki was picked up for this crime in October 2015 and served approximately five months in prison awaiting trial largely because Asphaug set her bail then at $500,000, referring to her as a flight risk. 

She also served a month immediately after being sentenced and another three weeks for a probation violation.

As such, by the end of 2016, she had less than two months to serve.

Grazzini-Rucki asked the “execute the sentence”; by execute, this means to finish the remaining all at once.

The prosecutor and even the probation officer both recommended this course of action but Asphaug denied it and forced Grazzini-Rucki to wait until November 19, 2017 to serve the next portion of her sentence.’ 

  (Judge Karen Asphaug)

But shortly before Grazzini-Rucki was to serve her sentence, the Minnesota Appeals Court overturned the sentence as too harsh and sent the matter back to Asphaug for her to resentence Grazzini-Rucki and have her complete the sentence.

Remarkably, the same appeal’s judge, Jill Flaskamps-Halbrooks, did not find that Dede Evavold’s sentence was too harsh.

Evavold was convicted of helping to hide Grazzini-Rucki’s children and she was given a similar sentence to be served chunks at a time.

Somehow, Flaskamps-Halbrooks thought it was too harsh in Grazzini-Rucki’s case but not in Evavold’s case.

She’s failed to respond to numerous emails of mine for an explanation: same for Asphaug.

Evavold is scheduled to serve the next portion of her sentence on April 19, 2018, and will serve fifteen days at a time each April 19 for several more years, according to the current sentence which Flaskamps-Halbrooks upheld.

On December 8, 2017, Asphaug announced on the docket that she was scheduling a hearing. Then, on December 14, 2018, Asphaug, with no explanation, canceled the hearing.

Asphaug did nothing more until February 7, 2018, when she announced a new “review hearing” for March 26, 2018.

It’s not clear why the second hearing was a “review hearing” since what needed to occur was for a resentencing.

But by this point, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki had been rendered homeless and living in Florida.

She was homeless because in her divorce her ex-husband was awarded everything, along with sole custody of the children, and child support and alimony.

Since she was now a convicted felon, she could never find a job which would be able to manage paying for all this.

She was living in Florida because Asphaug, knowing that Grazzini-Rucki was homeless, let her leave prison without providing a home address or phone number.

She’s also not been required to check with either the court or her probation officer as Grazzini-Rucki maintained no contact with either with no sanction since she left the state in late 2016.

Grazzini-Rucki’s circumstances are so dire she borrows and shares phones.

With Grazzini-Rucki on the street, it’s not clear how she was served.

None of her attorneys of record were contacted.

Grazzini-Rucki failed to appear for her March 26 court date and a nationwide body only (the most extreme) warrant was immediately issued.

Now, with less than a month and a half to serve, Dakota County is insisting on extraditing Grazzini-Rucki, a process would could take up to a week and a half on its own.

Because missing a court date immediately put Grazzini-Rucki into a fugitive category she is being housed in maximum security in a county jail, not a prison, which she said, “are used to break people.”

Had she been allowed to execute the sentence, Grazzini-Rucki would have completed everything in January 2017.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is currently being housed in Pinellas (Fl) County Jail and has been since she voluntarily turned herself in on March 27.

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