U.S. philanthropist gets 15 years for sex with Russian minor

A Pennsylvania court sentenced U.S. businessman and patron of arts Kenneth Schneider to 15 years in jail for having intimate relations with a Russian teenaged ballet dancer, NBC said on Saturday.

Prosecutor Michael Levy said Schneider, 46, who had contributed to charity actions in the Moscow State Academy of Choreography in 1998, had been charged with having sexual relations with then 12-year-old Russian boy Roman Zavarov for several years.

Schneider, who was arrested on March 27 in Cyprus, had lived with the boy in a Moscow apartment and then took him to Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) in 2001, prosecutors said.

Zavarov, now a married 25-year-old professional ballet dancer, testified against Schneider in court. He said he had been sexually molested and could not escape because Schneider was paying for his tutors and housing expenses.

At the end of the trial, the judge called the culprit “a monster.”

“This investigation has exposed the disturbing truth concerning those individuals who believe they can victimize children abroad and not be held accountable in America for their very disturbing actions,” said John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Philadelphia.

Schneider, the founder of the Apogee Foundation, was also ordered to pay $35,000 in restitution for Zavarov’s medical and psychological treatment.


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