MOSCOW — The leader of the Russian anti-gay vigilante group “Occupy Pedophilia,” who is alleged to have lured LGBT youth to abusive encounters through fake social media profiles, was sentenced Friday to five years in a Russian penal colony.
Maxim Sergeyevich Martsinkevich was convicted of inciting and fomenting cases of extremism by posting videos on the “Vkontakte” (VK.com) social network that contained racial slurs and extremist opinions onRussia’s state of the union,reports Interfax. Videos containing anti-gay statements and abuse were not included in the prosecutor’s case against him, however.
Martsinkevich rose to international attention last year when his group began posting videos on VK.com andYouTube, documenting violent and homophobic harassment of men and gay youth the group claims were seeking to have sex with boys.
Amid outrage by international Human Rights groups and the prosecutor’s office in what was then Sevastopol, Ukraine (which sought to arrest him for crimes against a young male adult citizen of Ukraine) Martsinkevich fled to Cuba in December 2013, but was arrested and extradited for breaking Cuban immigration law in January.
Meanwhile, other members of “Occupy Paedophilia” are currently awaiting trial for their participation in anti-gay crimes. According to the prosecutor’s office in the Kamensk-Uralsky region, a court on August 8 approved the indictment in a criminal case against nine members of the group.
The nine members are accused of “committing crimes under several articles of the Criminal Code,” including organization of an extremist community and membership in an extremist community, beatings and other acts of violence, the threat of murder and causing grievous bodily harm, intentional infliction of moderate bodily harm, torture and robbery.
Court documents indicate that in January 2013, in the city of Kamensk-Uralsky, the nine men allegedly created “an extremist community” identified by the name and symbols of Martsinkevich’s movement, “Occupy Paedophilia,” reports Queer Russia.
According to charges, members of the group became acquainted with men of “nontraditional” sexual orientation via the internet. They offered to maintain friendships and sexual relationships, agreed on personal encounters, and then attacked and tortured them, causing physical and mental suffering.
The gang members filmed many of the attacks and subsequently posted them to the Internet.
Martsinkevich appears in many of the videos, and is often seen forcibly shaving the victims’ heads in reverse mohawk hairstyles, painting rainbow flags in the shaven areas, forcing the victims to perform sex acts with objects, pouring urine on them, and forcing them to make self-denigrating statements to the camera.
The cases against the other members of “Occupy Paedophilia” are scheduled to be heard by the court in September.