Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Sandra Sue Grazzini-Rucki, age 50 of Elko, was found guilty today by a Dakota County Jury of six counts of Deprivation of Custodial/Parental Rights in connection with the taking and concealing of two of her daughters from April of 2013 until November of 2015, in violation of child custody order issued by a District Court Judge in connection with a family court matter. Grazzini-Rucki was acquitted of two additional counts related to causing minors to be runaways. The jury heard this case over seven days and deliberated for approximately five hours. Judge Karen Asphaug set the sentencing date for September 21, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in Hastings. Ms. Grazzini-Rucki was taken into custody following the jury verdict and bail was set at $100,000 without conditions and $50,000 with conditions (she had previously been released on her own recognizance without bail).
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint, which is located online at: Criminal Complaint Search
. If in custody, a mug shot can be viewed online at: Inmate Search
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom commented: “It is simply inappropriate and unacceptable for any parent to hide their children and keep them from the custodial parent in violation of a court order for any amount of time. The almost two and a half years that these children were hidden led to significant trauma to her daughters and caused significant adverse impacts to the rest of her family. We are pleased with the jury’s decision in this matter.”
Others charged with Deprivation of Custodial/Parental Rights (involving the concealment of a minor) in connection with this case are still pending for Gina Schmit Dahlen and Douglas Craig Dahlen of Herman, Minnesota and the jury trial for Deirdre Elise Evavold will begin on September 26, 2016.
Backstrom praised Assistant County Attorney Kathy Keena, who prosecuted this case. Backstrom thanked the Lakeville Police Department and the U.S. Marshal’s Office for their ongoing investigation into this case and bringing the girls back safely to their father in Lakeville.
If you have any questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.