Fox Rothschild and Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners Represent Russian Orphans In High Profile Sex Trafficking CaseApril 30, 2009
Fox Rothschild LLP has partnered with the Russian firm of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners to represent five young women in a sexual trafficking lawsuit filed against Bucks County millionaire Andrew Mogilyansky. The Fox Rothschild attorneys representing the young women are: Ely Goldin, David Gradwohl and Lilian Nikolaevsky, all members of the firm’s Montgomery County office.
The M. S. v. Mogilyansky case, filed today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania accuses Mogilyansky, who has dual citizenship in Russia and the U.S., of recruiting the girls from a St. Petersburg orphanage, sexually abusing them and then moving them into an apartment in Moscow where sex trafficking took place. The young women were photographed and offered “for sale” through a website called www.berenika.org which targeted an international clientele which included certain U.S. customers. At the time, all five young women involved were minors fifteen years of age or younger.
Also named in the lawsuit are Mogilyansky’s Russian accomplices, U.S. customers (named as “John Doe Defendants”) who had sex with these underage girls, and a physician – identified for the time being as “Elza Doe” who forced surgery upon one of the plaintiffs. The lawsuit is brought under the Child Abuse Victims Rights Act of 1986 and the Alien Tort Claims Act, federal statutes that authorize the federal courts of the United States to entertain suits for injuries that occur on foreign soil. This case marks one of the rare occurrences where the most helpless of victims will get to have their day in court and speak out against their abusers.
The lawsuit is filed approximately four months after the unsealing of an indictment against Mogilyansky by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The indictment accuses Mogilyansky of setting up an bankrolling the child prostitution ring as well as engaging in sexual acts with the young women between the years of 2002 and 2004. The charges brought to the defendant are one count of traveling overseas for the purposes of engaging in sex acts with minors and three counts of traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in sex acts with minors. If convicted of all charges Mogilyansky faces as much as thirty years in prison.
Four of Mogilyansky’s Russian accomplices have been convicted of similar crimes in the Russian Federation and are currently serving jail sentences. According to the lawsuit, Mogilyansky evaded criminal charges in Russia by offering a bribe to one of the Russian investigators who agreed to limit the investigation to Mogilyansky’s Russian accomplices. He is currently held without bail in the Segregated Housing Unit of the Federal Detention Center.
About Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is a leading national law firm in Russia with offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and London. Founded in 1993, the firm combines extensive emerging markets experience with international professional standards. Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners regularly represents international companies doing business in Russia and Russian companies expanding internationally. It frequently acts for the Russian Federation in transactional and litigation matters. The firm also regularly serves as Russian counsel to leading international law firms. Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is the first Russian law firm to win the Chambers Europe Russian National Law Firm of the Year award and the Gold Award for the Best Russian Law Firm of the Year 2008 at the International Legal Alliance Summit Awards.