Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

U.S. Couple Pleads Guilty in Russian Adoptee Abuse Case

Matthew and Amy Sweeney pleaded guilty to abuse charges Tuesday.

WASHINGTON — A couple from Virginia has pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the abuse of a young boy they adopted from Russia.

Amy Sweeney on Tuesday pleaded guilty to felony child abuse and neglect, and will be sentenced in December.

Her husband Matthew Sweeney, a U.S. Navy officer, admitted complicity in the crime and received a suspended sentence of 60 days behind bars.

The couple adopted Daniil Kruchin from Russia in 2006 and renamed him Daniel Alexander.

He was 8 years old when the abuse case first came to light in July of last year. The boy left his home in the middle of the night on July 17 and rang the doorbell of a nearby home in the early morning hours the next day.

"I immediately called 911 and explained to him that we have this little boy who said he was lost," said Ron Kramer, who answered the door at his home when the boy rang the doorbell.

"He was very open about pulling his shirt up to show he had these bruises on his body," Kramer told a reporter, later adding, "His whole chest was a mess, looked like he'd been pounded on."

"It appeared, based on the injuries the child sustained, that it had been on a constant basis," said Officer Jonathan Perok with the Prince William County Police Department, during an interview with a local television station at the time.

About four hours later, the boy's mother reported him missing.

The boy was taken into protective custody. Matthew and Amy Sweeney were arrested that day and later released on $20,000 bail. They were indicted by a grand jury in January.

Amy Sweeney could face stiff monetary penalties and possible jail time when she is sentenced in December.

Read more