Russia seeks harsher sentences for repeat child sex offenders amid outcry over rape and murder of 5-year-old

Moscow, Russia: On January 4, 2022 5-year-old Veronika Nikolayeva was playing near the cinema and cultural complex in Kostroma, Russia near where her mother works.

 

Video footage showed two men grabbing the child in broad daylight and carrying her away as she struggled and tried to scream and fight back.

 

People on the street seemed to ignore the situation and no calls were made to the police.

 

Once Veronika's mother learned that her child was missing, she called the police and an investigation was opened.

 

Despite a large-scale search effort involving many police and volunteers, by the time that Veronika was found, it was too late. Her body was found in a duffel bag inside of a hostel room where she had been raped and stabbed.

 

The two men seen in the video footage were taken into custody and later identified as 44-year-old Denis Gerasimov and his lover, 24-year-old Vadim Belyakov.

 

Both men have allegedly confessed to their crimes.

 

Parliamentary speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, in response to public outcry over the case, has taken the opportunity to draft new legislation that would see repeat child sex offenders dealt much harsher sentences than the current 15 years to life.

 

"One of the detained men turned out to be a formerly convicted pedophile," Volodin stated.

 

Gerasimov was just released from prison last March after serving four and a half years for a conviction of pedophilia including the production of child pornography.

 

"Those convicted for such crimes should serve life sentences in the harshest conditions- in the extreme north (of Russia) or in mines. These b******s should undergo the harshest labor so they remember their crimes they committed every day- and regret them," Volodin was further quoted as saying.

 

Volodin went on to state that such individuals, despite appearances, "cannot be called human."

 

The proposed legislation was first presented at the end of December and is to be considered this month.

 

According to Maria Lvova-Belova, Putin's commissioner for children's rights, sex attacks on children and adolescents have risen 79% over the past eight years.