Russian investigators refuse to drop murder charges in landmark sexual abuse case
Federal investigators have rejected a plea from the Attorney General’s Office to reclassify actions by the Khachaturyan sisters from murder to justifiable self-defense. According to Alexey Liptser, the attorney for one of the sisters, the Investigative Committee has completed its reinvestigation and the defendants are now reviewing the new case materials.
Who are the Khachaturyan sisters? Police arrested Maria, Angelina, and Krestina Khachaturyan in July 2018 for killing their father, Mikhail. When they were arrested, the women were ages 17, 18, and 19. All three confessed to the killing, testifying that their father had been sexually abusive for years. The defendants were jailed initially and later released on their own recognizance. Their case has inspired a broad public support campaign.
In January, the Attorney General’s Office asked the state investigators to reclassify the charges against the Khachaturyan sisters from murder to justifiable self-defense. Alexey Parshin, another lawyer representing one of the sisters, said at the time that this reclassification would close the case against his client.
In December 2019, state investigators completed their initial investigation of the case, pressing felony murder charges against the two older Khachaturyan sisters. Investigators declared the youngest sister, Maria, to be unfit to stand trial and proposed compulsory medical treatment.