A former federal bailiff has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for pedophilia, Interfax reported Sunday.
The convict, Andrei Kaminov, was detained last June after members of the controversial Russian vigilante group Occupy Pedophilia accused him of having exchanged online messages of a sexual nature with a person he believed to be an underage boy.
As per the group's standard operating procedures, they initiated the transaction by contacting Kaminov online, presenting themselves as an underage boy. The "boy" then set up a meeting with the convict.
The convict was instructed to arrive at an arranged meeting point. However, rather than being greeted by a young boy — activists emerged, filming the scene. The video was then uploaded online, and quickly went viral.
Kaminov vehemently denied throughout the video that he had done anything wrong, saying he knew that the person with whom he was interacting was not really an underage boy.
In the wake of the incident, however, Kaminov resigned from his post as a bailiff. A criminal case was launched into the incident and in September, the Presnensky Court issued a warrant for Kaminov's arrest.
The group Occupy Pedophilia gained notoriety for such traps. However, many of its victims have claimed they were targeted not for pedophilia but for homosexuality, arguing that the men with whom they were interacting were consenting adults.
The founder of the group, Maxim Martsinkevich, has himself been convicted of "inciting hatred" in connection with three of the videos posted by his group. He was hit with a five-year sentence in a maximum-security prison.
Martsinkevich, also known by the nickname Tesak, was also questioned as a witness in Kaminov's case, having been on hand when the group first allegedly caught Kaminov meeting with who he believed to be a child.