Russian children’s rights ombudsman to testify in US child sex abuse case

Date: 2015-05-15
Source: rapsinews.com

MOSCOW, May 15 (RAPSI) – Russia's children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov wrote Friday via Instagram that he had been summoned as a witness in a child abuse case heard by a US court.

The trial of Michael Grismore, who was indicted on five counts involving the beating and sexual abuse of a child, his Russian-born adoptive daughter Ksenia Antonova, will be held at the Cherokee County Court in Georgia, United States, on May 18-21.

Ksenia was adopted by Marta Blanford in 2001, who gave up her parental rights in 2009. The child was then adopted by the woman’s sister and her husband, Michael Grismore.

Astakhov said after the tragedy that had Russian officials been informed of the second adoption, they could have objected or at least requested home-study reports on her new family.

In 2011-2012, he pressed the Russian authorities into investigating the crime. The Russian investigators forwarded to their US colleagues materials proving the man’s guilt. In particular, they proved that he had misled the US authorities about the girl’s age by presenting a certificate showing that the girl was 16, which is the age of consent under Georgia’s laws.

Russia’s Investigative Committee also opened a case against Grismore.

Michael Grismore was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of beating and raping Ksenia. It was reportedly Ksenia’s school teachers who heard about the situation first.

The girl is currently undergoing treatment in a mental facility.

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