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Mother of hidden Lakeville girls will spend up to 233 days in jail

The Lakeville mother who hid her two teenage daughters from their father on a farm in west-central Minnesota has been sentenced to jail time.
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The Lakeville mother who hid her two teenage daughters from their father on a farm in west-central Minnesota has been sentenced to jail time.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, 50, of Elko, was found guilty of six counts of preventing of deprivation of custodial/parental rights, after her daughters Samantha and Gianni – who were 13 and 14 when they disappeared in April 2013 – were found on a horse ranch last November.

On Wednesday, she was initially sentenced to serve 34 days in jail plus a number of days each year until 2022, as well as six years probation, according to a release from the Dakota County Attorney's Office.

But instead, she requested her sentence be executed so she can serve it all in one go, which could ultimately see her locked up for up to 233 days (after 133 days already served). Another hearing will be required to confirm this, with Grazzini-Rucki taken into custody after the hearing.

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She was also fined $944 for each of her daughters – which represents $1 for each day her daughters were missing – as well as ordered to pay $10,000 back to the Minnesota Crime Victims' Reparations Board, which during the process of David Rucki being reunited with his daughters.

She may have to pay even more in the future, as she's responsible for any counseling expenses her daughters need.

Hiding the children was in violation of a child custody order a judge had issued as part of Grazzini-Rucki’s contentious divorce from her husband. David Rucki was awarded custody, and prosecutors argued Grazzini-Rucki hid the girls out of spite.

Three people alleged to have helped her – ranch owners Gina Schmit Dahlen and Douglas Craig Dahlen, and friend Deidre Elise Evavold – are still awaiting trial on charges of deprivation of custodial/parental rights.

Evavold's trial is due to begin Monday.

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