A former U.S. Marine was sentenced Tuesday to four and a half years in a Russian prison for striking a police officer while drunk, according to Russian media.
A judge said that Robert Gilman was found “absolutely guilty” because the ex-Marine “realized that he threatened the well-being of a public authority,” the Russian news agency TASS reported.
The incident took place on Jan. 17 when police hauled a drunk Gilman from a Moscow-bound train in Voronezh after passengers complained about his behavior.
While in police custody, the report said that Gilman kicked an officer in the shin at least twice, which is when he was charged with violence against a public authority on duty.
Before the trial, TASS reported that Gilman told the courtroom that he was not guilty and was “unconscious while committing the crime.” Gilman was ordered to pay the officer 15,000 rubles (roughly $260) and donate the same amount to charity.
Valeri Ivanikov, Gilman’s defense attorney, said that he will appeal the length of the prison term and reach out to U.S. authorities for a prisoner swap.
“It has already been agreed that we will address the authorities of the United States of America in order to initiate an exchange process so that he can return home,” said Mr. Ivanikov.