January 17, 2022
A Russian father suspected of killing a man who allegedly sexually abused his 6-year-old daughter won’t be charged with murder, the Daily Mail reported.
What are the details?
Vyacheslav ‘Slava’ Matrosov, 34, reportedly stood accused of stabbing his former friend Oleg Sviridov, 32, to death in a forest near Vintai, Russia, last year after making him dig his own grave.
The incident occurred after Matrosov discovered disturbing footage on his friend’s phone while they were out for drinks one night. The footage in question allegedly showed Matrosov’s young daughter being forced by Sviridov to perform a sex act on him.
In the video, the young child reportedly could be heard pleading with Sviridov to stop and saying she wanted to go home.
Matrosov faced murder charges initially for his actions, but according to the Daily Mail, those charges have been dropped.
The father now faces prosecution for “inciting a person to suicide or attempted suicide by threats or abuse,” which carries a lesser maximum sentence of six years in prison. Though the outlet noted the new charge is often punished without a prison term.
The murder charge was reportedly dropped after investigators obtained detailed forensic evidence that showed that Matrosov had not stabbed Sviridov where his body was later found. Matrosov has denied killing Sviridov intentionally but has maintained that the stabbing took place “during a quarrel.”
Several reports claimed that Matrosov threatened Sviridov with an ultimatum, demanding that he turn himself over to police or face the father’s anger.
After news broke about the incident last year, there was an outpouring of public support for Matrosov, who was employed as a rocket engine factory worker.
Members of the community reportedly signed a petition demanding that the father be acquitted and praising him for “saving our children by ridding us of a child sex attacker.”
Supporters raised enough money to get Matrosov a top lawyer and pay for all of his legal fees, the New York Post reported.
At the time, the defendant’s father said in a statement, “We have collected the money, thank you all. It was not friends or relatives who helped, but strangers from the village.”
In the petition, supporters argued, “Every father would have done this. This will be an example to everyone. Therefore, we demand understanding from the executive branch, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Investigative Committee.”
Russian lawyer Vera Podkolzina reportedly said the father could still face prison time for his actions, but noted: “He has very powerful mitigating circumstances.”
Sviridov was accused of abusing two other young girls in the community, the evidence of which was reportedly found on his phone also, the Daily Mail reported.