Plotting ex-wife gets 7-14 years in jail
By JAMES A. KIMBLE
Union Leader Correspondent
Friday, Aug. 20, 2010
BRENTWOOD – Kristin Ruggiero will spend 7 to 14 years in state prison for what police say was part of a years-long ploy to use the criminal justice system against her ex-husband, who was thrown in jail and nearly lost his career during a bitter divorce.
Judge Kenneth McHugh said Ruggiero's attempt to set up her ex-husband and use the legal system as a weapon was unlike any other case he has seen.
"There's a lot of people, usually women, who have been subjected to abuse by their significant others," McHugh said, during Ruggiero's sentencing yesterday. "As a result of her actions, their cases, their safety, their security has been damaged. The web for this is much greater than what has just happened to Mr. Ruggiero."
A jury found that Kristin Ruggiero registered a disposable cell phone under her ex-husband's name and sent herself a dozen threatening and suicidal text messages. She then reported to East Kingston police in May 2008 that her ex-husband had violated bail conditions tied to a criminal threatening case, which police learned was also fabricated by the 34-year-old mother.
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By portraying herself as a victim, she duped local police and portrayed her ex-husband, Jeffrey Ruggiero, as a violent monster while the couple was going through a contentious divorce in family court, according to prosecutors.
The couple battled over finances and their 7-year-old daughter.
While Jeffrey Ruggiero was being investigated, his ex-wife called him at all hours and taunted him over the phone, according to court testimony.
"She mocked him. She laughed at him. (She said) 'I took all your money, I took your daughter and now I am going to take your career'," Assistant County Attorney Jerome Blanchard said in court yesterday.
Click below to view some of Judge Kenneth McHugh's comments during sentencing.