No punishment for British corruptor of minors in Uralsk? 06 февраля 2014, 17:51
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Peter Baruch. Photo ©uralskweek.kz/Raul Uporov
Peter Baruch accused of corrupting minors while living in Kazakhstan might escape punishment, reports Tengrinews citing Moi gorod. On January 14, the police of Uralsk town detained Peter Baruch, a British citizen staying in Kazakhstan on a working visa, after the mother of a 13-y.o. girl reported the man to the police. He was exchanging text messages of sexual nature with the girl and when her mother saw this she raised the alarmed. Besides, she found that her daughter was chatting with the man on the Internet and he was inviting her to his hotel room. The police searched his hotel room after receiving the complaint from the mother of the six-grader and found more than 600 photos of several naked underage Kazakhstan girls on Peter's computer and flash cards. The police investigation found that there were a total of 8 girls, aged from 12 to 17, on the photos found in Baruch’s computer. The girls were questioned by the police, and told that the Englishman was paying them 10,000 tenge ($65) to take a topless photo and 15,000 tenge ($100) for a nude photo. Based on the evidences and the girls' testimonies, the British national was charged with Production and distribution of child pornography, or engaging minors in pornographic events. It is a criminal felony - Article 274 of the Criminal Code - punishable with 2 to 8 years in prison in Kazakhstan. However, on February 5, the Court of Uralsk agreed with Baruch’s defendant that evidences in the case - photos of the naked girls - that prove that he was corrupting minors were obtained by the police unlawfully. This usually means that the search that the police made was not warranted, but it is unclear whether this was the case this time. The court dumped the evidences, and after that Baruch’s lawyer asked the court to drop the charges, insisting that they were groundless without these evidences. The Prosecutor office of Uralsk disagreed with the decision of the court and is preparing to lodge an appeal. It says that the number of complaints filed against Baruch by the girls from the photos has grown to six: three in Uralsk town and three in Atyrau city where Baruch had worked before moving to Uralsk. At the last hearing the court ordered the police to return Baruch’s passport, so the British national can now escape the punishment for corrupting young girls by leaving Kazakhstan at any time.