A Bryansk regional lawmaker charged with 212 counts of child sex abuse has died of an apparent heart attack while in custody, the Investigative Committee said.
Nikifor Zhukov, a 62-year-old member of the village of Churovichsky's council, died last Thursday in a hospital after needing immediate care in pre-trial detention, the committee's regional branch said in an online statement published Monday.
The preliminary cause of death was a heart attack, the statement said.
The investigation into Zhukov, who was charged with molesting three dozen girls aged 11-17 between 2007 and 2013 in early May, is set to be dropped unless the deputy's family requests a further inquiry, the statement added.
Zhukov reportedly specifically targeted girls from low-income families, drove them to a secluded location, where he raped them and then used threats to demand their silence. In some cases, Zhukov paid the girls between 500 and 1000 rubles for their silence.