Bolshoi Dancer Involved in Acid Attack Sentenced

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Pavel Dmitrichenko, the dancer accused of orchestrating an acid attack on a theater superior, was sentenced Tuesday to serve six years in prison. The Bolshoi ballet dancer was sentenced along with his two co-defendants after a month-long trial in Moscow.

Dmitrichenko testified that he had been having a conversation with a friend, Yuri Zarustky, when the topic turned to Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi's managing director of two years. Many of the dancers at the theater despised Filin, who was known for his harsh criticism of the dancers, as well as stirring much of the controversy and turmoil at the world-famous dance company.

Zarutsky offered to "beat up" Filin, and the two men agreed on a plan to accost the director on his nightly walk home from work on January 17. Dmittrichenko told Judge Yelena Maximova that he had no knowledge of Zarutsky's idea to throw sulfuric acid in Filin's face.

Zarutsky's testimony supported this, and he testified that he chose to use the acid instead of his fists, saying, "Because if I had hit Sergei Yuriyench (Filin), then I would have had to hit him a second time and a third and really hammer him, knocking out his teeth and breaking his bones."

Zarutsky previously spent seven years in a prison colony after being convicted of beating a man to death.

The driver for Zarutsky on the night of the acid-throwing crime, Andrei Lipator, was also convicted and sentenced to serve four years in jail.

The three men were ordered to pay Filin for damages incurred as a result of the crime in the amount of 3.5 million rubles. (The equivalent of about $106,000.)

After listening to all of the testimony, including that of both Filin's supporters, and many dancers who supported the defense, citing Filin's deplorable character and management of the company, Judge Maximova handed out her sentences. The head of the court acknowledged that while Dmitrichenko may truly not have known of the acid-throwing plan and did not even learn of what had happened until watching the news the next morning, he still was the ultimate reason the crime took place. Maximova cited Dmitrichenko's decision to provide money, a SIM card, and information concerning Filin's location as being the ultimate reasons for which Zarutsky was able to carry out the crime.

Filin did not appear in court for the sentencing, but requested that the court sentence each of the conspirators to serve prison time. His lawyer reported that the now-nearly blind victim "forgives no one."

Main image courtesy ABC News via YouTube.

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