Below is a short summary of yesterday’s trial session where the court found Serop Der-Boghossian guilty of having sex with minors against their will, sentencing the American-Armenian businessman to 15 years behind bars.
Before presenting their closing arguments to the court, Serop Der-Boghossian’s defense lawyers Tigran Safaryan and Givi Hovhannisyan attempted to enter into evidence other documentation that would prove the innocence of their client.
The court rejected to examine the documents presented by the lawyers.
Closing arguments by the defense were short.
Prosecutor Aram Amirzadyan told Hetq afterwards that the lawyers once again tried to change the nature of the charges in the original indictment from Article 139 of the Criminal Code to Article 140
A break in the trial was declared at 2:15pm, to be resumed at 5pm.
Judge Mushegh Harutyunyan read out the verdict at 5:30 at the closed door courtroom.
Serop Der-Boghossian was found guilty of RA Criminal Code Article 139 Part 3 (11 years) and Article 139 Part 2, Point 3 (8 years). The court then dropped the 8 year sentence to 4 years, for a total of 15.
Article 139. Violent sexual actions.
1. Homosexual, lesbian or other sexual actions against the aggrieved, by using force against the latter or other persons, or threat of using force, or by taking advantage of the aggrieved person’s helplessness, are punished with an imprisonment for the term of 3 to 6 years.
2. The same actions:
1) done by a group of persons;
2) done against the aggrieved or other person with particular cruelty;
3) done against a minor,
4) caused the death of the aggrieved or heavy consequences, by negligence;
5) committed by a person previously convicted under Articles 138 and 139 of this Code is punished with an imprisonment for the term of 4 to 10 years.
3. The actions mentioned in part 1 or 2 of this Article done against an aggrieved under 14 years of age, is punished with an imprisonment for the term of 8 to 15 years.
Judge Harutyunyan then declared that the sentence would begin as of February 9, 2011.
Defense lawyer Tigran Safaryan told reporters after the trial that they would be filing an appeal.
Hetq also spoke to Prosecutor Aram Amirzadyan who stated that the sentence was in line with the offences committed by Der-Boghossian and was a just verdict.