Russian Stalin Historian Charged With Sexual Assault

Russian authorities have formally indicted historian Yury Dmitriyev on a charge of sexual assault against his adopted daughter following an earlier acquittal on child-pornography charges.

The Investigative Committee said on July 3 that Dmitriyev was charged with "violent acts of a sexual nature committed against a person under 14 years of age."

Dmitriyev was rearrested on June 27, less than two weeks after a court in the northwestern region of Karelia overturned a verdict that cleared the 62-year-old of child-pornography charges and sent the case for retrial.

He spent 13 months in custody before he was acquitted in early April in a trial he dismisses as politically motivated.

Dmitriyev is the chief of the Moscow-based Memorial human right center's branch in Karelia and a historian who has worked for decades to expose crimes committed in the region by the Soviet state under dictator Josef Stalin.

Prosecutors had charged the 62-year-old after the authorities found 49 naked photographs of his adopted daughter on his computer.

But Dmitriyev testified that the photos were taken because medical workers had asked him to monitor the health and development of the girl, who was malnourished and ailing when Dmitriyev and his wife took her in as a foster child.

His supporters said the case was brought against him because he exposed a side of history that complicates the Kremlin's glorification of the Soviet past.

Based on reporting by Rapsinews and Interfax