Russian serial pedophile Stanislav Molodyakov—who preyed on Cambodian street children for years before he was deported to his home country in 2012—has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for raping dozens of schoolgirls he lured to his mansion with the promise of modeling contracts in the early 2000s, according to Russian media.
Mr. Molodyakov’s conviction in December, which he vowed to appeal, came nearly two years after Russia announced that he would be tried for 20 counts of rape and sexual assault committed against minors in Moscow in 2003 and 2004, before he fled to Cambodia.
Known to Cambodian authorities as Alexander Trofimov and to his victims by the nickname “Sasa,” Mr. Molodyakov sexually abused at least 15 young girls in Sihanoukville while overseeing the development of a $300-million luxury resort off the coast.
Finally arrested in 2007, he served just four years of a 17-year sentence for the crimes before receiving a royal pardon, stepping out of prison—and disappearing. As child protection groups scrambled to track him down, sure that he would offend again, the public clamored for his deportation. The U.S. Embassy called Cambodia’s refusal to expel him a “threat” to the country’s reputation.
In Sihanoukville, Mr. Molodyakov had become something of a nightmare figure, with whispers that he would return to search for his former quarries.
“His footsteps shake the earth,” the mother of one victim, a deaf and mute girl who had been collecting scrap on the street when the Russian approached her, said at the time.
On March 8, 2012, Cambodia Daily reporters spotted Mr. Molodyakov buying vegetables at a supermarket in Phnom Penh. Confronted, he sped away in a Lexus SUV. The next day, then-Deputy National Police Commissioner Sok Phal vowed to rearrest and deport him.
Three months passed before the general made good on his promise, but in a dawn raid on June 4, police apprehended Mr. Molodyakov in Kandal province, at the home of a preteen girl whom investigators said he “loved.” He was deported two weeks later and arrested at an airport in Moscow.
Now, Mr. Molodyakov will likely spend the next 11 years behind bars, according to Russian broadcaster NTV.
A video posted to NTV’s website in December shows the 46-year-old being led, gaunt and handcuffed, down a hallway at the Mytishchi courthouse outside Moscow and into a cage in the courtroom, where he can be seen smirking throughout his sentencing.
An accompanying news report explained how in the early 2000s he used his position as vice president of the Miss Russia beauty pageant to convince girls between the ages of 8 and 13 to join him for “casting” sessions at his mansion in the Russian countryside.
“When the organizers of Miss Russia stopped working with him due to his suspicious behavior toward the girls, he organized a design studio, where he continued to invite young models, promising them good contracts and popularity,” the report said.
“The scandal erupted when three Moscow schoolgirls talked with their parents about their elegant and rich acquaintance. According to them, he drove a Mercedes when he invited them to photo sessions, ostensibly for commercials for children’s clothes,” it said.
“When the girls informed police about his address,” it continued, “he was not found there.”
He had already left for Cambodia.
When he was finally sent back to Moscow to stand trial—nearly a decade later—he denied abusing the Russian girls, according to NTV.
“At the beginning of his interrogation, he would not admit his crimes,” the report said. “Later, he stated that everything was done by mutual consent, but the judge did not believe this and he was sentenced” to 11 years in prison.
Although Mr. Molodyakov was convicted more than seven months ago, the NGOs that investigated his crimes in Cambodia and later helped reintegrate his victims into their families said they were unaware that the Russian had been found guilty, and expressed relief on hearing of the development.
“After all the damage this man has brought upon Cambodian and Russian children, we feel glad that this man will not be able to hurt any more children in the next decade,” said Samleang Seila, country director of anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, whose lawyers represented Mr. Molodyakov’s victims during his trial in Cambodia.
Maggie Eno, co-founder and coordinator of M’Lop Tapang, an organization that works with street children in Sihanoukville, said the victims—now young women—would find similar solace in the Russian court’s decision.
“I imagine that they do not know about the sentencing in Russia, but I am also sure that when they know, they will feel comforted to learn that he has received a sentence in Russia,” she wrote in an email, explaining how M’Lop Tapang had helped to reintegrate six of Mr. Molodyakov’s victims following the abuse.
“[T]hey all went back to live with family,” she wrote. “The girls that are here still are either married now, some with kids, or working and doing fine.”
(Additional reporting by Olesia Plokhii)
© 2015, Ben Woods. All rights reserved.