A Los Angeles man was sentenced Monday to 150 years in federal prison for raping a 12-year-old girl in Russia and threatening to sever her head.
U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II called Yuzef Abramov, 58, “the ultimate predator.”
The dual Russian and U.S. citizen was educated but “chose a path of terror and rape of multiple sixth-grade schoolgirls,” the judge said.
Abramov was convicted in November of six felonies, including engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places and traveling overseas with the intent to engage in such activity.
He flew from Los Angeles to Russia in June 2009, and shortly after his arrival, raped the 12-year-old and threatened to behead her if she told anyone about the abuse, according to evidence presented at trial.
Five months later, Abramov again traveled to Russia and engaged in further sexual abuse of minor girls.
The following March, believing that the local schoolgirls had contacted the police, Abramov and two accomplices cornered the girls. Abramov threatened all three while wielding a knife and each man then raped one of the girls — a gang rape the judge said was “orchestrated” by the defendant.
Jurors also found that, after threatening the girls’ lives, Abramov continued to rape at least two of the victims during subsequent trips to Moscow.
Wright Monday recalled when one of the victims came to court to testify against her attacker.
“She walked through that door, saw the defendant, let out a blood- curdling scream, collapsed to the floor and crawled out of the courtroom like a wounded animal,” the judge said. “Such sheer terror could not have been staged.”
Abramov, who declined an opportunity to make a statement, smiled, chuckled to himself and shook his head from side to side as the judge spoke.
Prior to sentencing, the victims contacted the court and expressed fear that Abramov will return to Russia one day “and seek his revenge on them,” Wright said.
Although prosecutors has asked for a 45-year sentence, the judge said he decided on the 150-year term partly so the victims — who are undergoing psychological treatment — would know there is no possibility of Abramov’s release.
“They are now safe from him,” Wright said, indicating that it is likely Abramov will die behind bars.
Abramov has been in custody since his April 2014 arrest in Los Angeles, following an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, in cooperation with The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and the Moscow City Police.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice.
— Wire reports
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