What to Read Next

Russian court may defer Pussy Riot member sentence

DMITRY KOZLOV and NATALIYA VASILYEVA
16 January 2013
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 file photo, feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia. A Russian court is weighing Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 whether Maria Alekhina can serve the remainder of her two-year sentence when her 5-year-old son is 14. Alekhina is petitioning the court in Berezniki, a remote Ural mountains town near where she is serving her sentence. She was convicted last year along with two other band members of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for an anti-President Vladimir Putin stunt in Russia's main cathedral. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 file photo, feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia. A Russian court is weighing Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 whether Maria Alekhina can serve the remainder of her two-year sentence when her 5-year-old son is 14. Alekhina is petitioning the court in Berezniki, a remote Ural mountains town near where she is serving her sentence. She was convicted last year along with two other band members of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for an anti-President Vladimir Putin stunt in Russia's main cathedral. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev, File)

BEREZNIKI, Russia (AP) — A member of feminist punk band Pussy Riot asked a Russian court on Wednesday to let her serve the rest of her two-year sentence when her 5-year-old son is a teenager, arguing that separation from her child now will do irreparable psychological damage.

Maria Alekhina is petitioning the court in Berezniki, a remote Ural mountains town near where she is imprisoned, to make the extremely rare decision to let her defer her sentence until her young son is 14.

She was convicted last year along with two other band members of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for an anti-President Vladimir Putin stunt in Russia's main cathedral. One of the women had her sentence suspended on appeal.

Alekhina told the court on Wednesday that while she wants her sentence deferred, she refused to plead guilty.

"No one will force me to say I'm guilty — I have nothing to repent for," she said.

Her 5-year-old son, Filipp, is going through his formative years and cannot be without her, she said.

"I'm in a situation where I have to prove here that my son needs me, which is obvious," she said.

Several dozen supporters and journalists gathered outside the Berezniki court building, which was guarded by riot police — a rare situation for the small town.

Sentence deferrals are uncommon. In fact, there are several prison colonies for female convicts with small children who raise their babies behind bars.

In the most publicized precedent, a woman in Eastern Siberia who drove her car onto a sidewalk, killing one woman and leaving another confined to a wheelchair, had her sentence deferred in 2010 because she had just had a baby. The woman, who did not admit guilt or apologize to the families of the victims, turned out to be a daughter of a senior local official, sparking suspicions of selective justice.

The ruling in Alekhina's case was expected later on Wednesday.

The Pussy Riot members performed a "punk prayer" at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral, pleading with the Virgin Mary for deliverance from Putin. Yekaterina Samutsevich's sentence was suspended in October after she argued she was thrown out by guards before she could take part in the stunt.

____

Vasilyeva reported from Moscow.

Bad News For Insurance, Great News For Virginia

Virginia drivers, with cars and good driving records are learning that they may qualify for lower car insurance rates. Do you qualify?

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military - Takes 1 Min!

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.

Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read This

United States drivers are surprised that they never knew this. If you drive less than 50 mi/day, you better read this...

Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read This

United States drivers are stunned that they never knew this. If you drive less than 50 mi/day, you better read this...

Attn Home Owners Who Never Miss a Payment.

Home Owners who have not missed a payment in 3 years or more need to read this. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home there is a solution.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Skyscanner Announces U.S. Travel Trends for 2016

We've poured through years of data to put together a list of the top destinations Americans are interested in traveling to in 2016.

Car Insurance for AARP Members from The Hartford

Age 50+? Responsible drivers deserve better protection. AARP members could save $420* on auto insurance from The Hartford.

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

The New Fuel Behind Oil's Death Spiral

A stunning breakthrough in chemical engineering has unleashed a massive supply of fuel that could hand the United States 100% energy independence.

Looking for a girlfriend?

No games. Just real women looking for a mature guy. Find the right dating site for you!

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!