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Former Skater Charged in Sexual Assault

Lake Placid police initiate criminal case against Genrich Sretenski. Follows on heels of case against Andrei Lutai.

by Alexandra Stevenson

(6 September 2012)  For the second time in the past few years, police in Lake Placid are pursuing a criminal case regarding a skater.

In November 2009, Russian competitor Andrei Lutai got drunk after skating badly and finishing 10th in the Skate America Grand Prix. He ended up in jail after driving off in a car stolen from outside a garage. His spree only lasted a few minutes. He parked the car and was apprehended without a struggle. After spending several days in jail, he was charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle and aggravated driving while intoxicated.

All of the Russian team members left as scheduled and the Lake Placid Police were initially not able to provide a translator. Fortunately for Lutai, several Russians, who were in Lake Placid for another sport, volunteered to help him. He was processed through the court, and could have gone to prison for a significant time. Instead, he was deported back to his training site, St. Petersburg in Russia. But he will never be allowed to return to the United States.  Effectively, this terminated his career and he is now a coach.

Tuesday, September 4, the skating world was shocked to hear the 50-year-old Genrich Sretenski, a very well known ice dance coach who left Russia with his partner, Natalia Annenko, after a successful amateur career in which they placed fourth in the 1998 Winter Olympics, and who has been working in the United States for many years, had been deemed a "fugitive," and was arrested.

He currently teaches at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD and was taken into custody in Clarkesville, MD. He is being held in jail in Howard County, just outside of Baltimore, MD, while awaiting a bail review hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Lake Placid Police Sgt Charles Dobson, registered the complaint against Sretenski on September 16, 2011. The complaint includes a forced touching charge, and more serious First and Third Degree Sexual Assault charges. Lake Placid turned over the matter to the New York State Police in November, 2011.

Sretenski's lawyer, Rene Sandley, says Sretenski, supported by his wife, Yulia, "adamantly denies the charges," details of which remain under seal.

In addition to the criminal investigation for the alleged acts in Lake Placid, there is a civil suit against Sretenski.  It has been reported by NBC news that they have a complete copy of the civil lawsuit document in Prince George's County, Maryland in which it is claimed that the one of the alleged incidents happened in Sretenski's hotel room in Lake Placid in August, 2011. Prior to the incident, Sretenski is alleged to have sent the victim over 500 text messages professing his passion and asking for a meeting.

The victim's attorney is Salvatore Zambri. He was briefly interviewed by NBC on-camera, repeating that he has all of the text messages and other evidence to prove the charges.

An additional report on NBC elaborated that Zambri stated that his client, the alleged victim, is a 16-yr-old female student of Sretenski at the Gardens ice arena in Laurel, MD. It is claimed she was kissed and "fondled in the chest" after Sretenski led her to his hotel room in Lake Placid.  The complaint, part of which was shown on NBC also alleges kissing continued after the incident in Lake Placid, New, York, in Laurel, Maryland.

The age of consent in Maryland is 16.  In New York, however, it is 17.

 According to Wikipedia, the law in New York is as follows for a victim aged 16:  Sex with a person under 17 is a misdemeanor if the perpetrator is at least 16.  Sex with a person under 17 is a Class E felony if the perpetrator is at least 21.  "Sex," as used in this part of the law, refers to the four conspicuous types of sexual acts, including "sexual intercourse", "oral sexual conduct" (both types), and "anal sexual conduct."

Non-intercourse sexual activity is also regulated in New York. Non-intercourse sexual activity, called "sexual contact" is defined as "any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person not married to the actor for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party. It includes the touching of the actor by the victim, as well as the touching of the victim by the actor, whether directly or through clothing." (NY Penal Law 130.00[3].) If the person is underage such "sexual contact" can constitute the crime of "sexual abuse."  "Sexual contact" with a person less than 17 but at least 14, by a perpetrator who is at least five years older than the victim is "Sexual abuse in the third degree," a class B misdemeanor.