Charges: Mother of Lakeville girls left them at the ranch in 2013


The mother of two Lakeville girls who were found at a Minnesota horse ranch last week is facing additional felony charges.

According to an amended criminal complaint released Monday, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki faces three additional felony counts of deprivation of parental rights. Earlier this month, she was held on $1 million bail for what prosecutors say is involvement in the disappearance of her daughters.

The girls – Samantha and Gianna Rucki, now 17 and 16 – disappeared in April 2013 while their parents were involved in a bitter divorce and custody battle.

The amended criminal complaint accuses Grazzini-Rucki of driving the girls to the White Horse Ranch near Herman in Grant County at that time, where the girls had been until they were found last week. The complaint notes another woman was with Grazzini-Rucki in the car, but that woman was not identified.

Police had long suspected their mother had helped the girls run away, saying earlier this year they believe an “underground network” helped them hide from their father, who had full custody of the girls.

Grazzini-Rucki had accused her husband of abusing Samantha and Gianna, but he denied those claims and said Grazzini-Rucki brainwashed the daughters.

The girls' mother has denied helping her daughters run away.

If Grazzini-Rucki is convicted, the county is seeking an aggravated sentence against her because of the "particular cruelty" she's caused against the girls' father for depriving him of them for two years, the Star Tribune reports.

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