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Russian Pianist Accused Of Rape Leaves Thailand

Mikhail Pletnev (file photo)
Thai police say internationally acclaimed Russian pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev has left Thailand, days after he was arrested and charged with raping a teenage boy while in the country.

Pletnev denies the charges. He would face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Omsin Sukkanka said authorities released him on bail today and allowed him to the leave the country, but told him that he must return on July 18.

Sukkanka said Pletnev took a flight to Dubai and is thought to be headed to Moscow.

He is scheduled to perform on July 12 in Ohrid, Macedonia.

Pletnev is the founder and artistic director of the Russian National Orchestra.

In 2005, he won a Grammy award for best chamber-music performance.