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Ukrainian Immigrant Couple Guilty of Child AbuseTim King Salem-News.com
Support of Ukrainian immigrant religious community fails to help parents of children who sought refuge with police.
(SALEM, Ore.) - One of the strangest criminal cases in Salem, Oregon's history, involving the criminal mistreatment of the children of a Ukrainian immigrant couple, began winding to a close Friday.
40-year old Alexander Kozlov and 39-year old Lyudmila Kozlov, were each found guilty on nine counts of criminal mistreatment involving the abuse of their children.
They refused to answer questions during the trial and even appeared aloof about the matter at times. But their reactions were anything but nonchalant when the guilty verdict was delivered.
When we first began covering the story several months ago, we were overwhelmed with comments from church friends of the accused couple, and well over 90% of everything that came in basically condemned the children and excused, even praised the adults.
The children initially sought refuge with police, asking to be removed from the home, and asking for protection from the parents, Alexander Kozlov and Lyudmila Kozlov.
The couple was accused of very serious acts of abuse with a number of physical objects over a prolonged period of time., but the last serious beating was experienced by the couple's teenage daughter who had her hair cut without the family's permission.
KATU's Melica Johnson and Gino Corridori covered the story for their evening news. It showed the defiant couple who refused the services of any legal council as they stated that God was their attorney.
Based on story comments from the Russian/Ukrainian immigrant community here in Oregon, child abuse could very well be a serious problem in many of these households. This imported piece of eastern European culture apparently devalues the role and importance of children, and it is exceedingly clear from the comments that few members of this community would qualify as child advocates.
You might agree after reading this random collection of quotes from the previous stories, that this particular community could really not have enough child advocates.
Minister wrote: "BIBLE WAY! this parents were spanking right, they are Christians and they spanked children the way bible teaches, bible says spank with ROD which meens (a stick, wand, staff, or the like, of wood, metal, or other material.), this is not called abusing children this is called spanking with love."
Vic wrote: "Those kids need to get there ass beat more!! I've been raised in a russian/ukrainian home and thank God my parents spanked me. God said to do so. They only spand there childred because they love them."
"You (Editor)And every one else who supports spoiled kids should be ashame(d)"
Kristina: "Editor.Look how much people are against the kids,and nobody is against the parents.And this is not abusing but love and care for the children's future life,which they dont understand."
"I work in the law and don't believe the police should have believed the stupid kids who are going through a stage of a teenager. I don't think they knew what would have actually happened to them and their family."
Anna wrote: "editor: these parents are not guilty!! they have unconditional love for their children. spanking ur kids is not beating them!!"
"Over that kids are taking advantage and for little thing they go and call cops for their parents saying they were physically abused. Unfortunately,the naked truth hasn't been said and soooooo many parents locked up because of the advantage that American gives to kids"
Vot Edo Da wrote: "Here its illegal to discipline your children, cuz they want criminals to grow up so police and jails would function."
Alexander Kozlov and Lyudmila Kozlov were charged with abusing four of their seven kids. One at the time of the arrests, was a small infant.
A 12-person jury returned guilty verdicts tonight after listening to testimony over the last four days, according to the Statesman Journal newspaper. They were convicted of using unreasonable physical force to discipline three of the kids, and the parents were remanded into custody after the verdict was rendered. They will be sentenced by Marion County Circuit Judge Thomas Hart December 10th at 8:45 a.m.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), the first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several other awards including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
You can send Tim an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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