Russian police officer charged with graveyard rapes

A man in central Russia has been charged with a series of rapes carried out while he was a serving police officer, Russian media said on Thursday.

The suspect is accused of raping four women in the Rostov Region city of Bataysk.

“He ambushed women and sexually assaulted them. He raped two women in a local graveyard, and the other two in deserted streets,” investigators said.

The first rape took place in November 2010, at the start of President Dmitry Medvedev’s large-scale reform of the police.

The suspect was dismissed from the force three months ago, investigators said, without giving further details.

Russia’s militsiya (militia) were renamed politsiya (police) on August 1. The renaming was part of a massive shake-up of the country’s often-criticized force.

Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev – who once advised Russians to give as good as they get if attacked for no reason by an officer – boasted last week that the reforms had stamped out police crime for good.

But in the last ten days of August, Russian police committed 67 crimes, including murder, torture and robbery, investigators said last week.

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