A Los Angeles man with dual U.S. and Russian citizenship was sentenced to 150 years in prison on March 14 for repeatedly raping schoolgirls in Russia.
In one rape of a 12-year-old girl while visiting Russia, Yusef Yunosovich Abramov threatened to sever her head if she told anyone, authorities charged.
U.S. District Judge Otis Wright called Abramov, 58, "the ultimate predator" in handing down the unusually long prison sentence.
In November, a jury found Abramov guilty of sexually abusing three minor girls during trips to Russia over a two-year period, and convicted him on six felony counts.
It was in June 2009 that he threatened to decapitate a girl and play soccer with her head if she told authorities about being raped, according to evidence introduced at trial. Several months later, he traveled again to Russia to abuse young girls.
The Justice Department said that the following March, believing that the schoolgirls had contacted the police, Abramov and two accomplices cornered three girls. It said that Abramov threatened the girls with a knife and that "each man then raped one of the girls."
Judge Wright during the sentencing recalled the sheer terror of one of the victims who testified in the case.
"She walked through that door, saw the defendant, let out a blood-curdling scream, collapsed to the floor, and crawled out of the courtroom like a wounded animal," said Wright. "Such sheer terror could not have been staged."
Abramov chuckled and shook his head as the judge spoke, AFP reported.
Prosecutors had asked for a 45-year sentence, but Wright said he decided to impose a 150-year term so the victims can feel reassured he has no chance of release.
Abramov was arrested in April 2014 following a joint investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Immigration Service, the Russian Investigative Committee, and the Moscow police.
With reporting by AFP