Russian College Students Kidnap Gay Man at Gunpoint via Social Media

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday May 29, 2014
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Five college students from Russia allegedly kidnapped a 25-year-old gay man at gunpoint after luring him by using a dating website, according to a May 28 report by Queer Russia.

A Chelyabinsk court heard this month the students, between the ages 18 and 22, wanted to rob and extort their victim. According to the man’s testimony, the students initially said they didn’t want his money but to "cleanse the society of gays."

The students allegedly held the victim at gunpoint, went into his car and drove to a nearby lake. According to the victim, they said they would kill him if he did not give them money. The victim says he handed over 10,000 rubles ($290 USD) but they wanted more.

"The students bullied the captive with cruelty: forced him to get naked and shot the ground next to him," Emilia Sinenko, Senior Attorney Assistant of Traktorozavodsky District in Chelyabinsk said. "The young man who suffers from a chronic disease, had a heart attack caused by the stress. In this condition he was taken to the bank to get a loan of 50 thousand rubles (approx. USD 1,460)."

The suspects went to two banks to get the cash. At the first bank, a teller reportedly ignored an SOS message by the victim. She smiled and promised to call back later even though the victim was a regular at the bank. Bankers at the second bank reported the incident, however, leading to the arrests of the students.

The suspects did not admit to the crimes of kidnapping, robbery, extortion and unlawful possession of a car, as they were driving the victim’s vehicle.

The students also reportedly hired expensive lawyers and the court heard testimonies from the suspects’ girlfriends who said they "are good guys and simply couldn’t do it."

Queer Russia notes the trial may be dragged on for awhile, especially due to the victim’s sexual orientation.

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