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Russian Investigators Look Into Notorious Rapist's Comments About Victim

The interview by well-known journalist Ksenia Sobchak (above) has ignited public condemnation.
The interview by well-known journalist Ksenia Sobchak (above) has ignited public condemnation.

MOSCOW -- Russia's Investigative Committee has launched an investigation into comments made by a notorious convicted rapist, known as the "Maniac of Skopin," about one of his victims during an interview he gave three weeks after his release from prison.

The committee said in a statement on March 23 that its chief, Aleksandr Bastrykin, had ordered the committee's Main Investigative Directorate to evaluate the statements Viktor Mokhov made in his interview with popular journalist Ksenia Sobchak.

The comments were included in a documentary about Mokhov that was placed on Sobchak's YouTube channel on March 22, immediately igniting a public outcry.

Mokhov, whose crimes in 2000 shocked the country, was released from prison on March 3 after serving a 17-year prison term for kidnapping and illegally holding and systematically raping two teenage girls in the city of Skopin in the western Ryazan region.

One of the girls delivered two children fathered by Mokhov while in captivity and another shortly after she was rescued by police.

Answering Sobchak's question about that victim, Mokhov said in the interview, "I have to take care of her again."

The interview has been watched by more than 3 million people and has sparked condemnation across Russia.

The chairman of the Russian Union of Journalists, Vladimir Solovyov, and the leader of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, have called on lawmakers to ban any interviews with individuals convicted of violent crimes.

The Federal Penitentiary Service has said that the 70-year-old Mokhov will be under parole-like police control for another six years.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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