Texan Faces Russian Jail Despite Texas Verdict

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(USNewsMag.com) – On February 12th, a Russian court found an American man guilty of abusing his two children in a case where the alleged incidents took place in Texas.

Texas authorities previously investigated the allegations made by his ex-wife, Svetlana Koptyaeva, which alleged David Barnes, 66, had abused his two sons between 2014 and 2018 and found the allegations to be without merit.

However, the Moscow court found Barnes guilty on February 12th of abusing the boys in Texas from 2014-2018 and sentenced him to serve 21 years in a high-security Russian penal colony.

Barnes, from The Woodlands, Texas, has been detained in Russia since January 2022, just weeks after traveling to Russia to get legal rights to visit his two sons, with whom Koptyaeva had fled to Russia in 2019, breaking their U.S. custody agreement.

The charges stem from 2014 when Koptyaeva first made the initial allegations that Barnes abused the two boys during a custody battle in Texas. In 2016, a Texas court issued a temporary restraining order for Koptyaeva, ordering her to stop making statements that Barnes abused the children, according to court filings. Documents from 2014-2018 show that Texas judges had repeatedly ruled in favor of Barnes continuing to be a joint custody guardian of the two children. In December 2019, Barnes was granted full custody of the children by a judge, and Koptyaeva was charged with interfering with child custody for taking the two boys out of the United States.

According to the Assistant District Attorney for Montgomery County, Texas, Kelly Blackburn, the arrest warrant remains active for Koptyaeva over violating the custody agreement, and the case against her is still pending. She also stated “No one from Russia has ever reached out to our office” about the case.

Barnes’ attorney, Gleb Glinka, said he would appeal the conviction, saying he was “shocked” by the verdict and sentence as he “thought there was considerable doubt” about the alleged allegations.

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