Man proposes to girlfriend at a trial in which she was set to be sentenced for attacking him with an axe.
During an assault trial concerning two unnamed Russian citizens, a male victim, 40, allegedly proposed to his 67-year-old girlfriend who allegedly attacked him with an axe. The move was made so the court would impose a more lenient sentence. The man proposed to the woman even though she almost took his life, much the same as serial killer Ted Bundy proposed at trial to his girlfriend Carol Anne. If Bundy was looking for a lighter sentence, though, it didn’t work.
The prosecutor general’s office in Tomsk, Siberia, confirmed, “During the trial, the man proposed to the defendant, and they got married.” Like Bundy taking advantage of a Florida law, even with an unplanned courtroom wedding, should an individual propose to another in front of a judge and the recipient of the proposal accept, the marriage is legally binding.
The prosecutor’s office added, “As a spouse, he then asked the court not to imprison the woman.”
The Tomsk regional district court found the newly engaged woman guilty of grievous bodily harm which is typically met with a maximum decade-long prison sentence. While she was still held accountable for the act, the woman was only given a three-year suspended sentence with an additional three years of probation. It wasn’t confirmed, but the prosecutor’s office believes the proposal played a role in not imposing the maximum penalty.
The incident with an axe happened in 2019 while the Russian couple was out drinking with their friends. According to the report, “The woman constantly quarreled with her partner because of his unwillingness to maintain cleanliness and order in the apartment.” The prosecutor’s office added, “She came up behind the man who was busy watching TV and struck him with an axe multiple times in the head, ribs and neck.”
Law enforcement and paramedics were called, but while they were there, the man allegedly tried to tell them he had an accidental fall. The charges against her were brought by the authorities involved rather than her now-husband. Because of this, the prosecutor’s office has not yet submitted a final order for sentencing and believes the couple will file an appeal.
It is not uncommon for an assault victim to refuse to seek help or be unwilling file charges against a domestic abuser. A common cognitive distortion among abuse victims is that their partner will change. They are also routinely abused emotionally as well as physically, which gaslights the victim into believing they are to blame or if they do everything ‘just right,’ the abuse will stop What’s more, oftentimes victims believe they will be in legal trouble if they report the abuse.
In a longitudinal study published in 2015, eighty female victims of spousal violence ages 18 to 62 years who sought legal help were assessed three times over a time period of six months. The authors concluded that “women whose intention of leaving decreased and who displayed more cognitive distortion after one month were more likely to live with the violent partner six months later than women whose leaving intention remained stable. We conclude that cognitive distortion plays a role for women’s decision to stay, enhancing their risk of re-victimization.”
Of course, not all victims are female, but behaviors of both perpetrators and victims are fairly consistent regardless of gender. What’s perhaps most concerning about this case is that, without consequence, the violence is likely to continue.