Vintai, Russia: A 34-year-old father has been sentenced to 18 months for allegedly inciting his former friend 32-year-old Oleg Sviridov to commit suicide after he had discovered a video showing that Sviridov had raped his young daughter.
She was just six years old at the time.
Initially the father was accused of murder but that charge was dropped in January.
Citing an unnamed source "close to the case," the U.S. Sun said that forensic evidence had revealed that the father had not been responsible for stabbing Sviridov.
It is unclear if Sviridov fell onto a knife during a struggle between the two men or if he intentionally stabbed himself.
What the father had done though, was force Sviridov to dig his own shallow grave where his body was eventually discovered. After burying Sviridov's body the father took his cell phone to police for examination.
A review of Sviridov's cell phone revealed that the man's daughter was not the only child that he had sexually abused. Videos indicated that he had been abusing children for five years.
One of those children was the daughter of his former live-in girlfriend.
After the father was initially arrested and charged locals gathered behind him in support with 2,500 of them signing a petition requesting that he be fully acquitted, hailing him a hero for "saving our children" and raised money to help cover his legal fees.
Oksana Kazakova, a friend of the father and Sviridov's ex-girlfriend said, "We were all very sad and upset after hearing the verdict in court. Everyone was hoping that (he) would get a suspended sentence, but he got 18 months."
"We were shocked," Kazakova continued. "Of course, we understand that he could have received a far longer sentence. And 18 months is not much time. We really hope that he will get a presidential pardon at the end of the year."
The possible sentence for inciting someone to suicide ranges between probation and six years.
Attorney Vera Podkolzina asserted that the video evidence showing Sviridov's guilt played a crucial role in obtaining a lenient sentence for the father. Before the sentencing Podkolzina explained that the video revealed "very powerful mitigating circumstances."