Judge denies Grazzini-Rucki’s motion to execute sentence

Attorney released from case

A Lakeville mother convicted of six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights will serve annual jail terms as part of her sentence after she was denied her demand for an executed sentence in court Oct. 3.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney Stephen Grigsby also requested to be released as her representative, which the court granted.

Under the ruling, Grazzini-Rucki, who is now serving a 34-day sentence, will report to Dakota County Jail every Nov. 18 and serve 15 days in jail annually for six years.

Dakota County Judge Karen Asphaug allowed Grazzini-Rucki to request an executed sentence annually prior to reporting to serve her sentence.

Last month, Grazzini-Rucki was ordered to report to jail on Nov. 18 – the day her two daughters were found by law enforcement – starting in 2017.

She was ordered participate in the sentence-to-serve program for 12 days each year for the next six.

Grazzini-Rucki was also ordered to pay two $944 fines – the dollar amount is the number of days the two girls were missing – along with $10,000 in restitution to the Minnesota Crime Victims’ Reparations Board.

The organization expended this amount for family reunification services. She will also pay additional restitution for any future counseling expenses, which may be incurred by the victims.

Grazzini-Rucki, 51, testified at her trial she picked up her daughters Samantha and Gianna Rucki, then 14 and 13 years old on April 19, 2013, after they ran from their Lakeville home, barefoot and without jackets through the snow.

She said she left them two days later in the care of strangers at the White Horse Ranch in Herman, Minnesota, telling them she would pick them up in about three days.
She never returned or contacted them again.

The girls were discovered by law enforcement executing a search warrant at the ranch on Nov. 18, 2015, as part of an extensive search effort led by Lakeville police.

At sentencing, the girls’ father David Rucki said worried, searched and worked with police to find the girls.

David Rucki said he preferred the original sentence because it provides accountability to Grazzini-Rucki, who will be on probation for the six years.

He had cited concerns that without the oversight of probation, Grazzini-Rucki could try to target Samantha Rucki, now a legal adult.

“The judge has done a wonderful job of making sure this (accountability) is happening,” David Rucki said.