By Ria Novosti
A U.S. couple convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of their adopted Russian son were jailed for a maximum of 4 years on Friday.
A Pennsylvania court ruled that Michael and Nannette Craver must serve a minimum of 16 months. Their exact jail term will depend on their behavior behind bars, the court said.
Seven-year-old Nathaniel Craver (Ivan Skorobogatov), died in August 2009 at a hospital in Pennsylvania. Doctors said the boy died of injuries and malnutrition. They discovered more than 80 injuries on his body, including 20 on his head.
The Cravers were arrested in February 2010 and denied all the charges brought against them, saying the boy suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome and attachment disorders. The couple’s defense said his injuries were self-inflicted.
The Cravers remained silent while the judge was announcing the verdict and left the court-room without comment.
Before the jury announced its decision in September, prosecutors had demanded the death penalty for the couple, who were released on $50,000 bail each in September.
Russian child rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov condemned the U.S. jury’s ruling that the killing of the boy was accidental.
Since 1991, a total of 17 adopted Russian children have died worldwide as a result of beatings or negligence, according to official Russian statistics.
Russia also has a serious domestic child abuse problem, with some 2,000 children killed every year. Just this week, a woman near the Central Russian town of Lipetsk was arrested after throwing her three-year-old daughter from a third-storey apartment after she broke a DVD player. The girl survived, but is in a critical condition in hospital.