Priest pleads not guilty to pointing AK-47 at daughter over grades


The St. Paul man charged for allegedly pointing an assault-style rifle at his 15-year-old daughter because of her grades is a highly respected Russian Orthodox priest, the Pioneer Press reports.

Kirill Bartashevitch pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of terroristic threats.

According to the complaint, Bartashevitch was upset that his daughter got two B's instead of two A's in her classes at St. Paul’s Central Senior High School in January and swore at her.

After the teenager told her father that she hated him, Bartashevitch allegedly grabbed his recently purchased AK-47 and pointed it at her, the complaint says. The girl said her mother, Olga Samsonova, jumped between the two as he pointed the gun and was later thrown to the grown by Bartashevitch.

At least 20 supporters from the United States, Canada and Russia wrote to Ramsey County District Judge Lezlie Ott Marek on Bartashevitch's behalf, requesting leniency.

The Star Tribune reports Bartashevitch was a Russian Orthodox subdeacon and now holds the rank of priest in Christ’s Church, preaching in Minnesota and other parts of the country. He also provides services at church camps for kids in Canada.

The case goes to trial on May 28.

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