Muscovite begins hunger strike to protest daughter rape conviction

A Muscovite sentenced to 13 years in jail on charges of raping his seven-year-old daughter has begun a hunger strike to protest his innocence, his wife has said.

Vladimir Makarov was charged after dead sperm were found in his daughter’s urine when she was taken to a Moscow hospital after a domestic accident. He was sentenced on Monday.

But Makarov and his wife – supported by independent experts – maintain the analysis was faulty.

A psychiatrist employed by prosecutors said the girl’s behavior and drawings indicated she had been raped.

However, independent gynecologists and child psychiatrists examined the girl and said they saw no signs to indicate she had been sexually abused.

“My husband has begun a hunger strike,” Tatiana Makarov told the Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei radio station. “I don’t know how this will end. But I don’t know what else to do to attract attention and to force an objective examination of the case.”

“The [urine] sample was taken in a bed-pan,” Professor Igor Kornienko – a microbiologist – said.

“These bed-pans are often just washed out with water and anyone’s sperm could easily remain inside.” Kornienko also said he had often encountered similar cases.

A repeat analysis of the girl’s urine taken came back as negative, a fact that was not mentioned in the case materials, Russian media report.

The test-tube containing the girl’s urine was also labeled incorrectly and bore the name of an entirely different patient.

“These samples varied according to clinical parameters,” independent forensics expert Vladimir Shcherbakov told the Channel One TV station. “This is impossible with samples taken from the same person within an interval of two hours.”

“I’ve seen the case materials,” he also said. “It was not proven that the sperm that were supposedly found in the girl’s urine belonged to her father. Although this is not difficult to do.”

Makarov now plans to appeal to Russia’s Supreme Court.

“I’m going to have to tell our daughter that her daddy is in jail. But I haven’t thought what reason I’m going to give yet,” Tatiana Makarov said.

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