Texas citizen sentenced to 21 years in prison in Russia

A Moscow court found David Thomas Barnes guilty of "sexual abuse of children." The sentence comes in the midst of a dispute with his Russian ex-wife over custody of the children.

(AFP) A Moscow court on Tuesday sentenced an American to 21 years in prison for sexually abusing his own children while they were living in the United States.

"The Savelovsky court of Moscow sentenced 65-year-old U.S. citizen David Thomas Barnes to 21 years in a penal colony, finding him guilty of sexually abusing his own children," the court posted on social networks.

Barnes was involved in a legal dispute with his Russian ex-wife over custody of their children.

The Texas native was arrested in Moscow in January 2022, weeks before the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine. Russian news agencies reported that Barnes' ex-wife accused him of abusing their two children years ago when they lived in the United States.

Several media outlets spoke to his family, who defend his innocence and say that the ex-wife took the children to Russia without his consent.

Several Americans are currently being held in Russian prisons.