Skating Coach To Be Freed, Must Surrender In N.Y.
BALTIMORE (AP) — An ice skating coach who competed in the Olympics for the former Soviet Union can go free on the condition he surrender to New York authorities within 72 hours to face sex abuse charges, a judge ruled Monday.
Genrich Sretenski, 50, also must surrender his passport and post the title to the Clarksville home he shares with his wife as bond, Howard County District Court Judge Sue-Ellen Hantman ruled. Sretenski attorney Rene Sandler said it was not clear if could meet the conditions in time to be released on Monday.
The New York charges include felony sexual abuse, forcible touching and child endangerment. Sretenski is also accused in a lawsuit of fondling a teenage figure skater in a New York hotel room. New York authorities have not released details on the charges, which remain sealed, except to say the case involves an allegation from last year in Lake Placid, a hub of figure skating training and competition.
Sandler said that the former Soviet ice dancer adamantly denies the criminal charges against him and that the case will be aggressively defended.
Sretenski, who was born in Moscow, competed across Europe in the 1980s in ice dancing. In 1988, he and Natalia Annenko placed fourth at the Olympic Games in Calgary.
According to the lawsuit filed in Prince George’s County, Sretenski coached the girl at a rink in Laurel, Md., near Washington, and made suggestive comments to her leading up to the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships last July.
After one night of competition, Sretenski allegedly texted her around midnight to talk about the event, and led her to his hotel room, where the skater claims the abuse occurred.
The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault and is not identifying the teen or her father, who filed the lawsuit, to protect her identity.
Wayne Kirwan, a spokesman for the Howard County State’s Attorney, said the defense argued the extradition request was not properly filed. Prosecutors asked that the coach continue to be held without bond. However, the judge ruled Sretenski could be freed if he surrendered within 72 hours of his release from the county’s detention center and if he meets the other conditions.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)