A Russian court sentenced former US soldier Trevor Reed to nine years in prison for attacking two police officers. In his verdict on Thursday, the judge said Reed was causing “psychological and physical harm” by attacking the police. The US ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, criticized the sentencing of the 29-year-old student and ex-soldier from Texas as an “absurd theater”.
Reed is said to have drunk attacked two police officers who were called to a party in Moscow last year. On the way to the police station, Reed is said to have grabbed one of the officers’ arms and risked a traffic accident. He is said to have rammed his elbow into the belly of the second policeman.
Reed has been in custody since August 2019. He had pleaded not guilty and said he couldn’t remember anything. The former US soldier followed the verdict with a face mask from a cage in the courtroom.
Reed criticized the verdict as politically motivated after the announcement. He said he would appeal and ask the US government for support.
Reed’s father told journalists after the trial that he wanted to contact Russian President Vladimir Putin directly because of the “completely corrupt” authorities. The problem is not the Russian laws, but how they are applied. The prosecutor’s office had asked for almost ten years in prison.
In June, a Moscow court sentenced former US Marine Paul Whelan to 16 years in prison. Whelan was accused of spying in Russia. The US embassy condemned the closed-door trial of Whelan as “mockery of justice.”