Charges Reduced Against Woman In Child Case
The charges against a woman accused of taking her son from northern New York to the Ukraine have been reduced - but not dropped - by a Jefferson County grand jury.
The grand jury on Thursday accused Svetlana Sorokina of two charges of custodial interference as a misdemeanor. That's less serious than the original charge against Sorokina, custodial interference as a felony.
Sorokina is now held on $150,000 bail. She is expected to appear in court on the new, less serious charges next week.
Sorokina is accused of breaking a family court order for taking the son she had with a north country man to the Ukraine.
(For background on the case, read, watch our original report here.)
Assistant district attorney Aaron Carr called the grand jury's action - indicting Sorokina on a misdemeanor charge - a 'rare case.' Carr also said the U.S. Department of State has been monitoring the case but has not intervened.
What's the difference between between felony and misdemeanor custodial interference? In a felony case, someone is accused of taking a child permanently, while in a misdemanor, the child is taken for an extended period of time.
The possible jail sentence is also much less: up to four years for the felony, up to a year for the misdemeanor.
(A note about the spelling of Sorokina's name: we have spelled it two ways in the past, as 'Svetlana' and 'Svitlana.' 'Svitlana' is the spelling her ex-husband has told us is correct, although her friends in the north country have insisted it is 'Svetlana.' The legal documents used Thursday spell her name 'Svetlana,' so for the purposes of this story, we're using the 'e.')
Saturday, May 18, 2013, Watertown, NY
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