American couple pleads guilty to abusing Russian adoptee
WASHINGTON, July 24 (RAPSI) - Two Americans, accused of abusing their Russian foster child, have pleaded guilty in court, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday. Matthew and Amy Kathleen Sweeney adopted nine-year-old Daniil Kruchin in 2006.
Kruchin ran away from home last summer to seek aid from a neighbor, who later called police. Authorities found signs of physical beating on Kruchin, who was given the name Daniel Alexander after his adoption, and the boy was transferred into protective custody.
Both parents were arrested last July, but were released on $20,000 bail each.
A District Court in Manassas, Virginia, ruled in January there was enough evidence for Matthew and Amy Sweeney to stand trial over abusing their Russian adoptee.
On Tuesday, adoptive mother pleaded guilty to cruelty to the child. This crime is qualified as grave offence. Sentence will be passed in December. Amy Kathleen Sweeney is facing a fine and a prison term.
Her husband admitted his participation in the crime and was given a suspended two-month jail term.
The Dima Yakovlev law prohibiting US nationals from adopting Russian children was signed by President Vladimir Putin in late 2012 and came into force in January 2013. 21-month-old Dima Yakovlev died in July 2008 after his adoptive father Michael Harrison left him in a locked car in a parking lot for nine hours. Harrison was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter.
Russian officials, however, have complained of abuse and negligence on the behalf of American families who have adopted Russian children, pointing to cases such as Yakovlev and Artyom Savelyev, whose adoptive mother sent him back to Russia on plane by himself in 2010.
Out of about 60,000 Russian children who have been adopted by American families in the past two decades, 19 have died at the hands of their parents.