A Teenager Family Abduction Case in Minnesota


Sandra Rucki Trial to Begin July 18th

In a Teenage Family Abduction Trial, Sandra Rucki has been charged in Dakota County with eight felonies in the kidnapping of her two teenage daughters.  Dede Evavold, Gina Dahlen and Doug Dahlen have also been charged as co-conspirators. The Jury Trial for Sandra Rucki is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 18, 2016.

As we approach this trial date, the Family Abduction Community of Victim Parents including both Recovering Parents and Searching Parents are closely following this case. This is one of the first cases in America where the District Attorney is also prosecuting the co-conspirators. In most International and Domestic Family Abduction Cases, the co-conspirators reside outside the jurisdiction. But in the Rucki Teenager Family Abduction, the girls were found in a nearby county in Herman, Minnesota.

The results of this case are important not only in deterring the crime of Teenager Family Abduction but sending the message to the Protective Parent and Family Court Critic Network cause that there will be severe penalties for those that engage in civil disobedience. After 9-11, when it became more difficult for protective parents to obtain a falsified United States Passport, it was thought that this cause had ended. But in recent years, there has been an  emergence of a small new movement of Family Court Critics/Protective Parents that are questioning the fitness of our Nation’s Family Court. They are attacking the Family Court Judges and the fathers in these cases on the Internet and in Social Media to support their cause. For many of these critics, it is  the same supporters that are against “joint custody” and “coparenting” and want the courts to bring back “maternal custody”.

In these cases, a defendant like Sandra Rucki is committed to the protective parent cause and wants a trial to promote herself and cause. Her supporters want the trial. But the co-conspirators like Gina Dahlen and Doug Dahlen may simply want to go on with their lives and may regret getting involved. On the other hand, they should have understood the severity of the crime of child kidnapping. A Family Abduction in the eyes of the searching parent is no different than a Stranger Abduction. Many of us feel that not allowing them any type of immunity and sending them to prison for some period may do more to deterring this crime. And for Sandra Rucki and her co-conspirator Dede Evavold, it is important that they receive long prison sentences for their crime.

As we get closer to a trial date, it’s likely that the District Attorney may want to save the county taxpayer’s the costs of these trials. The co-conspirators like the Dahlens will be doing everything they can to stay out of prison and the Felony Conviction. And Sandra Rucki may have an enlightened moment that when convicted, she might receive one of the longest prison sentences ever —  and finally arrive at the decision it would be in the best interests of her children that she plead guilty.


2 Responses to A Teenager Family Abduction Case in Minnesota

  1. Margo/Mom says:

    As someone who has been “around” (professionally and personally) the field of child and family protection a good bit, I fully understand that protective services are imperfect–frequently relying on an overworked and underpaid cadre of social workers fresh from a degree who will move on as soon as they are able. This is not to deny those I have also known who established careers in child protection and operate out of both knowledge and caring. I have always been grateful not to have to make some of the calls regarding families and children that are put into the hands of mere mortals. Severing the bonds of family creates in children a primal and life-long wound. This does not mean that it is never necessary.

    In watching a few of the more sensational cases of late, I am reminded not only how easy it is to sit in judgment of decision-makers, but also how easily one may be deluded by hearing a single side of any story. One “journalist” who joined the get Gorcyca bandwagon blatantly advertised via a mom’s group for women who believed themselves to have been poorly served in Gorcyca’s courtroom. He has been able to cull a small cadre of women whose children were removed from their custody and they all have sad stories to tell. In reporting this “journalist” has reached out to other involved parties, who owe him nothing and are frequently bound by privacy laws from discussing individual cases. In a few cases available records call into question the story being presented. In all of the cases, however, it is important to weigh the story against the very real likelihood of deep denial, or rationalized actions and choices. Very few people who lose children are eager to admit to their role in neglect or abuse. Such cases frequently also have elements of addiction and/or mental illnesses which further undermine the ability of the story-teller to admit to personal responsibility.

    All of which is to say that the Family Court Critic movement strikes me as dangerous not only because it fosters family abduction, but also because it so easily drags in people like the Dahlens–who may well have simply believed the line being offered to them: that legally constituted entities to protect children are an enemy justifying law-breaking. Further, beyond the smallish number of cases that make headlines, there are many more children in need of protection and families in need of support. There are families in real crisis who need outside help and intervention and while one very well-resourced family in suburban Detroit occupies headlines for months, many more families pass through the same family court system supported by protective services workers desperately cobbling together public supports to enable families to remain together and healthy. But those causes seldom get headlines.

    • underwatch says:

      Hi Margo, Thank you again for your posts.

      We have seen a number of journalists over the years writing bias stories for the protective mom. From Elaine Aradillas of People Magazine to McKenzie Carpenter and photojournalist Allen Dietrich of the Pittsburgh Post / Toledo Blade. Elaine Aradillas interviewed a kidnapped adult-child with special needs that was irresponsible for a global Magazine like People. That child has never been reunified with her left-behind family. Carpenter and Dietrich actually wrote and photographed protective moms as they went underground. Dietrich was later fired from his job and had his license revoked for doctoring photographs in an unrelated matter although his moral character was certainly exposed. I would like to see other journalists held accountable for their actions. I think the Hulk Hogan Gawker case is decent start to turning back the clock on these irresponsible journalists. Just because others are doing it doesn’t make right…

      Thanks again. We enjoy reading your posts!

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