EXCLUSIVE: What used to be intended to be a summer time of language classes and spending time along with his long-term love was the stuff of nightmares for former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed, whose jaunt to Moscow final 12 months ended with a nine-year prison sentence for a criminal offense he vows he didn’t dedicate.
Closing August, the now 29-year-old Texas local used to be arrested amid an evening out within the Russian capital and later charged with “assaulting and endangering the lives of the 2 law enforcement officials.” After 11 months at the back of bars, Reed used to be sentenced in July to 9 years in Vodnik jail, in what his circle of relatives and a variety of U.S. lawmakers and diplomats known as a politically motivated farce.
“The main trust we’ve is that my son wasn’t focused, however after they discovered he have been a Marine, the issue snowballed,” his father Joey Reed, a former firefighter in Texas and California who has spent lots of the previous 12 months in Moscow running on his son’s case, advised Fox Information. “In all probability they idea they might shake him down for thus cash, after which (Russian intelligence) turned into concerned.”
The saga started within the past due 2019 summer time, when the police had been known as to a birthday celebration Trevor Reed used to be attending along with his female friend Alina Tsybulnik, and an intoxicated or doubtlessly drugged Reed used to be apprehended. However slightly than being taken to a clinical facility, which is the usual Russia protocol, the younger American used to be whisked away to a police station.
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All gave the impression tremendous till the next morning government realized of Trevor Reed’s army background, his father mentioned. That is mentioned to have piqued the eye of Russia’s Federal Safety Provider, referred to as the FSB, who then performed its personal interrogation.
“Trevor mentioned that they by no means requested the rest about what took place to him that evening; all they sought after to understand used to be about his army document – the place he used to be assigned, what he did. In a while after that, he used to be miraculously charged with endangering the lives of law enforcement officials on easy methods to the station,” his father mentioned. “That fee used to be by no means discussed to him up to now, nor used to be it discussed to Alina, who adopted them to the station.”
It used to be at that time, Joey Reed conjectured, that all of them turned into “nervous one thing used to be going to occur.”
The more youthful Reed used to be formally accused of “deliberately endangering the lives of the law enforcement officials who introduced him to the prison.” His father additionally claimed that on the station, Tsybulnik used to be given the chance to bribe an officer for her boyfriend’s unlock, which she didn’t do. The alternate used to be denied by means of the officer in court docket.
Consistent with his father and his prison protection crew, there have been mountains of proof to disprove such an allegation – however all used to be comfortably tossed to the wayside as prosecutors maintained that Trevor Reed went on a violent, alcohol-fueled rampage.
“We had movies that confirmed no bad motion (happened) within the police automotive. There used to be a digital camera within the automotive, now not only a sprint digital camera however a real digital camera that displays the inner of the van,” Joey Reed underscored. “The police testified that the cameras had been running that day, however the investigator advised us we could not have the ones. Take note, if my son did the rest like they mentioned he did, why would they now not have used the movies from throughout the automotive?”
He claimed his son’s protection lawyers elongated the method and waited for the movies to be robotically erased from the database, which occurs on the 30-day mark.
And that’s infrequently the one inconsistency, members of the family insist. Consistent with court docket testimonies, one officer claimed to have had a small bruise on his stomach underneath his frame armor, the place the then-28-year-old allegedly elbowed him a few occasions.
“I’ve frame armor, and I do know you don’t seem to be going to get bruised by means of any person elbowing you a few occasions,” Joey Reed rebuffed. “2nd of all, the officer by no means confirmed the bruise to any person, by no means overlooked paintings, and there used to be no evidence it used to be there. So my son were given a nine-year sentence for that, and that’s not standard even in Russia.”
For Reed’s members of the family, the previous 14 months had been fraught with frustration, helplessness, and anxiousness – made all of the worse by means of their incapacity to successfully keep in touch with him.
“Once I first were given to Moscow, the investigator saved denying my visits with him and saved telling Alina (an legal professional herself) and Trevor’s lawyers that if he signed sure papers, they’d let me see him. After all, he mentioned he would now not signal the rest,” Joey Reed defined. “The overall apply here’s that you simply get to peer the one you love for 2 hours, two occasions a month. For a very long time, I wasn’t allowed to try this.”
With the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, jails in Moscow had been shuttered, and seeking to organize telephone calls in lieu of conferences has been an uphill struggle.
“Within the prisons right here, numerous issues are achieved thru bribery – other people have mobile phones, and so forth. as a result of they may be able to pay the guards,” Joey Reed mentioned. “However we may not have interaction in any of that; we all know they (government) would throw the guide at Trevor only for doing what everybody else is doing.”
An eighth-generation Texan born in Castle Price, Trevor Reed spent maximum of his formative years trekking during the sprawling parks and trails nestled at the Tehachapi mountains of California. An skilled Eagle Scout, he graduated highschool and returned to Texas along with his circle of relatives sooner than becoming a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. He used to be honorably discharged in 2016, and in 2017 started a point in World Research on the College of North Texas.
He selected Russian as a international language for the necessary language requirement of his program after assembly Tsybulnik – and figured there used to be no higher position to turn out to be fluent than in Russia.
At the prison entrance, the frenzy for his freedom has additionally been encumbered with letdowns and fiscal hardship for the circle of relatives. The case is slated to be heard by means of the Appeals Courtroom on Tuesday, and the circle of relatives is getting ready to report a swimsuit within the Ecu Courtroom of Human Rights.
“We plan on taking this all of the technique to the Splendid Courtroom. Trevor used to be, to start with, awarded bail by means of a pass judgement on who if truth be told listened to the protection – however then it used to be right away appealed by means of the prosecutor and brought away,” Joey Reed recalled. “So we appealed that within the Splendid Courtroom and gained, however then it used to be despatched backtrack to the decrease courts and the bail used to be once more denied at the similar grounds.”
The U.S. executive used to be first of all hesitant to get too concerned, for the reason that the State Division can handiest step in referring to wrongful detainment or the ones deemed political in nature, however since purple flags emerged that it wasn’t an unusual legal case, American diplomats and decisionmakers have taken a extra vocal stance.
“After Trevor used to be convicted, he used to be sentenced to the longest jail time period of any person charged with that crime within the historical past of the final 20 years in Russia,” his father lamented. “After which Embassy knew this wasn’t simply the common railroad trial.”
John J. Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, visited Trevor Reed at the back of bars on September 24 and due to this fact issued a observation expressing worry for the previous Marine’s well being and his remedy by means of the Russian judiciary.
“I’m nervous that Trevor isn’t getting suitable clinical get right of entry to and remedy, and I proceed to paintings to make certain that Trevor’s wishes are met,” Sullivan mentioned on the time. “I additionally stay very much bothered by means of the egregious inconsistencies and inadequacies of Trevor’s trial. Trevor used to be convicted and sentenced to 9 years in jail for a criminal offense he didn’t dedicate. Trevor’s case holds no prison benefit. Trevor does not belong in prison; he belongs again house in Texas.”
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Joey Reed concurred that his son’s well being stays their number one woe.
“His well being has been up and down, and he misplaced numerous weight all the way through the preliminary months when no person may just see him and he wasn’t in a position to navigate the jail device,” he famous. “Now that there’s common touch with the Embassy, and we’re writing to him day by day, his bodily and emotional state has progressed.”
U.S. representatives also are taking at the case. In August, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn submitted Senate Solution 667 with bipartisan backing to the Committee on International Family members, calling for Reed’s speedy unlock.
A 2nd Congressional effort, Area Solution 1115, could also be within the works to unfastened Trevor Reed from his “unjust” catch 22 situation.
A spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., didn’t reply to a request for remark.
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For the Reed’s, existence has been lowered to day-to-day, minute by means of minute activity only focused on projecting what they vow to be Trevor’s innocence.
“I’ve been a firefighter just about 40 years, and I’m used to many alternative annoying eventualities, so I simply focal point at the activity to hand. This is a lot more difficult on my spouse, sitting at house in Texas and feeling roughly helpless – now not with the ability to have calls along with her son, listening to all of the knowledge 3rd or fourth hand,” Joey Reed added. “That is truly terrible, and I might now not want this on any dad or mum or any person.”
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