Russian Pianist Mikhail Pletnev Charged with Raping Teen Boy in Thailand

Internationally acclaimed Russian pianist and conductor Mikhail Vasillievich Pletnev has been charged with raping a 14-year-old boy in a Thai beach town, police said Wednesday.

Mikhail Vasilievich Pletnev, the founder of the Russian National Orchestra, was charged Tuesday with rape and appearing in compromising photographs with several other boys, said police Lt. Col. Creetha Tankanarat. He was released on a 300,000 baht ($9,000) bail, ordered to report to the court every 12 days and is banned from contacting any witnesses in the case. He could face up to 20 years in jail and a fine of up to 40,000 baht ($1,200) if found guilty, The Associated Press reports.

The detective in charge of the case, Lt Col Omsin Sukkankha, told Russian news agency Ria-Novosti the musician had been detained in connection with a "statement from the guardians of a 15-year-old boy under the article of the Thai criminal code regarding corruption of a minor".

Video of police confronting Mr Pletnev in the restaurant on Monday, then escorting him to his property and conducting a search, was shown by a local TV channel, Pattaya One, BBC News informs.

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