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HomeGeneralMoscow Judge Convicts American Dad for Abusing Sons in Texas

Moscow Judge Convicts American Dad for Abusing Sons in Texas

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David Barnes
Source: Yahoo News

Like all parents, Dads are meant to nurture, protect, and support their children. Abuse of any kind, whether physical, emotional, or verbal, is never acceptable or justified. But this may not be the case for this American dad. The man, David Barnes, was found guilty by a Moscow judge of abusing his sons in Texas between 2014 and 2018. 

He was convicted to jail for 21 years in Russia based on his ex-wife’s testimony. He was sent to a maximum Russian security penal colony. The verdict was given even though no charges had been filed by law enforcement officials who had previously investigated the allegations. 

However, his lawyer, Gleb Glinka, has announced his intention to appeal the verdict. “Frankly, I’m horrified. There was almost no evidence that the court could base that verdict on,” he told ABC News outlet outside the courthouse.

66-year-old David Barnes, a native of Huntsville, Alabama, was detained in Moscow since January 2022. Barnes faced trial in Moscow after fleeing from the American authorities. The trial commenced in 2022 and concluded on Monday, with Barnes testifying in his defense. 

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Barnes had traveled to Moscow to visit his children, only to find himself detained by Russian authorities. He and his ex-wife, Svetlana Koptyaeva, were going through a custody battle for the kids. However, issues escalated when Koptyaeva allegedly removed their children from the United States illegally in 2019. 

The boys’ disappearance made Interpol issue global yellow warning notices, alerting authorities worldwide about the missing children. “I didn’t steal anyone. I was just protecting my kids,” Koptyaeva said outside the courthouse. Montgomery County prosecutors had previously issued a warrant for felony interference with child custody against Koptyaeva.

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The warrant mentioned her “failure to comply with conditions for travel outside the United States with the children.” According to a criminal complaint, Koptyaeva allegedly violated custody agreements by unlawfully removing the children from the country, causing the FBI to investigate her actions.

Koptyaeva reported to the Texas police, alleging that Barnes had abused their children while they resided in the Lone Star State. After police investigations, there was no evidence to warrant filing charges against Barnes. Also, in 2018, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support the accusations of abuse. The case was subsequently closed.

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But, when Barnes arrived in Russia for his visitation rights with his children, Koptyaeva reported his abuse allegations to Moscow authorities. Legal actions were filed against Barnes in Russian courts. Koptyaeva testified that Barnes inflicted “suffering and pain” upon their children, claiming she fled the US with them for their safety. 

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But Barnes denied the abuse allegations. The trial in Russia centered on allegations from Texas, but Texan officials were not involved in the prosecution. “We have seen reports of the sentencing of Mr. Barnes and are in communication with Mr. Barnes, his family, and legal team,” a states department spokesperson said.

Since the guilty verdict in Russia, Carol, David Barnes’ sister, hasn’t heard from the State Department. She anticipated the ruling due to how rare not-guilty verdicts were given in Russia. “I was not surprised. I was devastated, of course, but I was hoping I’d be surprised the other way,” she said.

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