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2 Apr, 2009 09:20

Adoptive parents face charges for abusing four-year-old

The adoptive parents of a four-year old boy, who received numerous injuries and burns, are being charged with premeditated harm to a minor. They have also been issued a written order not to leave their residence.

As a representative of the General Prosecutor’s Office told Interfax news agency, the couple received their official charges on Thursday. The statement accused them of ‘the non-execution of parental responsibilities combined with the brutal treatment of a minor.

The adoptive mother is also being charged with ‘deliberately causing physical harm leading to short-term health repercussions’ to four-year-old Gleb.

The couple now faces a substantial fine along with being sentenced to community service. Their parental rights will most likely be revoked, according to the General Prosecutor’s Office.

A tale of abuse

Gleb Ageyev arrived at one of Moscow’s hospitals last Wednesday. After the doctors examined him, they diagnosed closed cerebral trauma, genital mutilation, and thermal burns. The boy also had a black eye and blood stains all over his neck, a cut lip, and front teeth knocked out.

The medics indicated that some of the traumas were quite old, and came to the conclusion that Gleb was regularly beaten up.

The boy’s adoptive parents, Anton Ageyev and his wife Larisa, explained his condition by saying that he had fallen down the stair case. But the doctors contacted the police after the toddler revealed that his mother battered him with a tea-pot.

A criminal case was launched against the parents. But despite that, the father was able take Gleb away from the hospital and return him home last week, as the local authorities backed the version of an accidental fall.

Meanwhile, Ageyev’s lawyer, Anton Zharov, claims the child was put into hospital together with his mother. In an interview with Russia’s Ekho Moskvy radio station he said that they were sent there not for treatment, but to keep them away from all the media attention.

He stressed that without the involvement of the press, it would have been an ordinary case of a child injuring himself by accident, as such things happen to children all the time.

One tragedy leads to another

The Newsru.com website reports that the Ageyevs, from Korobovo village in the Moscow region, adopted two kids – a one-year-old girl, Polina, and a three-year-old boy, Aleksey, whom they stated calling Gleb, last year.

Previously, the family had suffered a tragedy, when they lost their only child, who died at age 16.

Korobovo residents say Larisa started drinking afterwards, and Anton decided to adopt the kids to help his wife overcome her sorrow. The family could easily afford raising two toddlers as Anton Ageyev was a top manager at one of Moscow’s banks.

But, according to the neighbors, Larisa never loved the adoptive kids like her own. She often shouted at them and spanked them. And if Gleb and Polina behaved badly, they were sent outside to spend a night in the yard together with the dogs.

Gleb’s parents invited to Public Chamber

On Monday, an emergency session was held by the Russian Public Chamber with Gleb’s adoptive parents as well as representatives of the administrations of Moscow and the Moscow region, prosecutors, police, and representatives of bodies of trusteeship and guardianship invited to take part.

At the session, Gleb’s adoptive father said the boy feels good and was taken away from them “illegally”. He said, initially, that a ruling was made “to leave the boy with his adoptive parents under the permanent control of the trusteeship and guardianship bodies, until the investigation is completed”.

Meanwhile, the trusteeship and guardianship bodies say they have issued a new ruling to take the boy away from the adoptive parents since Gleb’s life was endangered.

After the meeting ended, Chamber member and lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said Gleb Ageyev’s case has been passed on from the inquiry bodies to the bodies of pre-trial investigation due to the “broad public resonance”.

Kucherena promised that the Public Chamber will “strictly control the actions of the pre-trial investigation bodies in regard to the case”.

Grechushkins case

This is not the only episode of ill-treatment of kids by their adoptive parents. A couple of weeks ago, a criminal case was launched against the Grechushkin family, who tortured, and eventually brutally murdered their 4-year-old son.

They were also charged in the death of another foster child, which occurred several months earlier. The one-and-half-year old boy was choked with vomit, and numerous traces of blows were found on his body. But at that time, the conclusion of forensic experts went unnoticed by law enforcement agencies.