Entertainment & Arts

Bolshoi Ballet dancer sentenced to six years in acid attack case

Bolshoi Ballet
Pavel Dmitrichenko, shown being escorted to a court room in Moscow on Tuesday, was sentenced to six years for his role in the January acid attack on the Bolshoi’s artistic director.
(Alexander Zemlianichenko / Associated Press)

The Bolshoi Ballet dancer accused of organizing an acid attack on the company’s artistic director in January has been found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison. The decision, handed down Tuesday in a Moscow court, capped a lurid courtroom drama that exposed internal corruption in the storied ballet company.

Pavel Dmitrichenko had been accused of masterminding the assault on Bolshoi artistic director Sergei Filin in January. The acid attack left Filin with severe facial burns and damage to his eyesight. Prosecutors had sought a 10-year sentence for Dmitrichenko.

The court senteneced the man found guilty of carrying out the attack to 10 years. Yuri Zarutsky had been accused of executing the Jan. 17 acid attack, which took place outside Filin’s Moscow residence. Andrei Lipatov, who was named the driver in the attack, was sentenced to four years.

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Prosecutors argued that Dmitrichenko was motivated by professional frustration regarding his career and that of his girlfriend, dancer Anzhelina Vorontsova. Dmitrichenko, 29, has maintained that while he had agreed to an assault on Filin, he was unaware that the assailant would use acid.

It remains unclear whether any of the defendents will appeal Tuesday’s verdicts. The case has exposed in-fighting and favoritism in the Bolshoi, damaging the company’s international reputation.

Filin, 43, has undergone more than 20 operations to repair his eyesight. He returned to the Bolshoi in September but still requires medical attention to fully restore his vision.



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