Russian ombudsman raps expunging of charges of U.S. man blamed for adopted son's death

The Russian president's commissioner for children's rights, Pavel Astakhov, has attacked the partial expunging in the United States of the charges of Michael Craver, who was earlier found guilty of involuntarily causing the death of a seven-year-old boy he and his wife Nanette adopted from Russia.

The Russian president's commissioner for children's rights, Pavel Astakhov, has attacked the partial expunging in the United States of the charges of Michael Craver, who was earlier found guilty of involuntarily causing the death of a seven-year-old boy he and his wife Nanette adopted from Russia.

"The penalty of 16 months for what has been perpetrated, despite the objective data that the child had more than 80 injuries, 20 of which were spotted on his head. Initially state prosecutors brought charges of murder and demanded the death penalty. But as a result of [the case] being considered [in court], everything came down to only 16 months, and they were released," Astakhov said in a program on the Golos Rossii (Voice of Russia) radio on Tuesday.

He said a request for clarification had gone to the United States.

"We are in no hurry to make conclusions. Please give us comprehensive information, and then we will comment," Astakhov said.

Earlier on Tuesday Russian media said, citing a report in the York Daily Record newspaper, that a court in York, Pennsylvania, had partially satisfied an acquittal appeal from Craver.

The death of Nathaniel Craver (Ivan Skorobogatov) in 2009 set off wide-scale public reverberations. The Cravers were charged with murder and arrested in 2010. The prosecution claimed that the boy had been beaten and starved to death.

After a protracted trial, a jury decided that there was not enough evidence to back the murder charges and the Cravers were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 16 months in prison.

They were released in the courtroom after the sentenced was read out as they had spent nearly 19 months in pretrial detention.

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