Daniil Kruchin's US foster parents to stand trial on July 23
A District Court in Manassas, Virginia, ruled on Monday there was enough evidence for Matthew and Amy Kathleen Sweeney to stand trial over abusing their Russian foster child, nine-year-old Daniil Kruchin, whom they adopted in 2006.
Kruchin ran away from home last summer to seek aid from a neighbor, who later called police. Authorities found signs of physical beating on Kruchin, who was given the name Daniel Alexander after his adoption, and the boy was transferred into protective custody.
According to the prosecution, the Sweeney couple is to be charged with serious criminal offenses.
According to Virginia law they may be sentenced to a heavy fine and receive a prison sentence of several years.
Both parents were arrested last July, but were released on $20,000 bail each.
Voice of Russia, TASS, RIA
Americans Matt and Amy Sweeney to stand trial in the U.S. on charges of abusing a Russian foster child named Daniil Kruchin. Such a decision was issued on Monday by a jury in the District Court in the city of Manassas, Virginia.
According to ITAR-TASS citing a spokesperson for the court, "A grand jury concluded that the indictments prepared by the Virginia prosecutor have sufficient evidence to call for the suspects being brought to justice."
Today, the judge set a date for the beginning of the Sweeney couple’s trial. However, given the heavy workload of the Court of Prince William County, where the case is to be heard, the first hearing may take place only in a few months time.
It is expected that formal charges will be brought against the American couple only at the first hearing. After that, they will have to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
According to the laws of Virginia the entire case will be heard by one judge, and if the couple does not plead guilty they will be entitled to a jury trial. Today, the grand jury only decided as to whether the case was well-founded enough to go to trial.
Daniil Kruchin was born in Tula, Russia, in November 2003, and was adopted by a U.S. Navy officer named Matthew Sweeney and his wife Amy in 2006.
The American foster family, who recently lived in the town of Bristow, Virginia, gave Daniil the name of Daniel Alexander. The Sweeney couple has several more of their own children.
Last summer, the boy ran away from home in the middle of the night and knocked on a neighbors’ door. They called the police, who took the child in and after an examination found the signs of severe beatings on his little body. Investigators suspected that he was beaten regularly.
On July 18th, Matthew and Amy Sweeney were arrested on suspicion of abusing their adopted son. Before the trial, they were released on bail of $20,000 each and Daniel was handed over to the local social services.
Earlier the American couple refused a preliminary hearing at which the case is usually resolved by mutual agreement of the parties.
According to the prosecution, the Sweeney couple is to be charged with serious criminal offenses. According to Virginia law they may be sentenced to a heavy fine and receive a prison sentence of several years.
The current case of ill-treatment by American parents of adopted children from Russia is not the first.
At the hands of adoptive parents in the United States, over the past two decades, 19 Russian children have been killed.
At the end of last year in Russia passed a law banning the transfer of Russian children for adoption in the U.S.
Voice of Russia, TASS
A US couple goes on trial today in Virginia on charges of repeatedly abusing their adopted Russian son Daniil Kruchin.
Matthew and Amy Sweeney brought Daniil, now nine year old, from Russia six years ago. In July he ran away from home at midnight and knocked on a neighbor’s door. The neighbor called police. A medical examination found traces of severe beatings on the boy’s body. A criminal investigation was launched.
If found guilty the Sweeney couple will face a big fine or a jail term.
At least 19 adopted Russian children have so far fallen victim to cruel treatment by their Amrican foster parents.
Voice of Russia, Vesti
Yet another child from Russia suffered from the hands of foster American parents. According to the local government, a week ago, a boy of eight escaped in the night from the house where he lived and knocked on the neighbors’ door. Later, the police found on the boy’s body the marks of heavy blows and opened a criminal case.
As reported on Wednesday in the consular department of the Russian Embassy in Washington, the boy’s name is Daniel Kruchina, born in the Russian city of Tula in 2003. He was adopted by Matthew and Amy Sweeney in 2006 who gave him their second name and the name of Daniel Alexander. The family lives in the town of Bristow in Virginia.According to local authorities, last Wednesday at about 1a.m. someone rang the doorbell of a local resident Ron Kramer. When Mr. Kramer opened the door, on his doorstep he found a little boy who asked him for shelter. Kramer called the police who collected the child and on examination found vivid marks from beatings on his body. The boy told the police officers that he was beaten regularly.
In the morning Amy Sweeney told the police about the disappearance of her son. The police, however, did not return the child to her, and instead detained the parents themselves. Later they were charged with child abuse. They were subsequently released on bail of 20,000 dollars each pending court hearings. The boy is now under the care of local social services.
The Sweeney’s have their own children. They family was monitored by social workers, but the signs of child abuse had never been identified. The local District Attorney Paul Ebert told reporters that there was nothing unusual in the case. According to Attorney Ebert, often in families with several children all the parental anger and frustration are poured onto just one child.
Reports of child abuse of adopted children from Russia come from the U.S. on a regular basis. In early July another lawsuit of this kind was launched in the United States. This time against a couple from Wisconsin, Kathleen and Martin O'Brien. The couple were charged with 17 counts, including a dozen serious crimes. In particular, according to the investigation, in the period from 2004 to 2011 the O’Brien’s mistreated six foster children, of whom, according to media reports, four were from Russia. The children were from 12 to 19 years of age.
According to investigators, the O'Brien’s had abused their foster child for several years, applying not only harsh, but truly sadistic punishments and even developed a whole system of heavy handed discipline. The children were beaten with belts and sticks, tied up, strangled, sprayed in the face with pepper spray and tear gas. During winter they were forced to stay naked outside or spend time in a filthy pen for dogs. Moreover, the couple only abused the adopted children while their own four grown up children: two sons and two daughters assisted the parents in their criminal behavior.
Previously the case of the Kreivers, a married couple form Pennsylvania drew a lot of media attention. They were accused of systematic beatings of their adopted seven-year-old son Vanya Skorobogatov that subsequently led to the boy’s death. During their trial however, the jury decided there was not sufficient evidence of child abuse and the foster parents were found guilty of only not taking the child to the hospital in time. Altogether 17 adopted Russian children perished in the United States since 2006.
In Alaska, Jessica Bigley, a police officer, released a video of placing her adopted son, Daniel Bukharov under cold shower and forcing him to drink hot sauce as punishment .Prior to that, in recent years, there had been more than ten cases in which adopted children from Russia, not only suffered beatings and humiliation, but died at the hands of foster parents in the United States.
In February this year, the Russian Foreign Ministry called for a moratorium on adoptions of Russian children by American foster parents before the ratification of the US-Russian agreement on cooperation in this area aimed at preventing similar incidents in the future. Recently, an agreement was ratified by the upper house of Russian parliament.
In general, the beatings and abuse of foster children in the U.S. are not uncommon. Each year more than 28,000 children suffer from foster parents in America, reported RIA Novosti.