ORLANDO, Fla. – Testimony from a detective and an agent with U.S. Border Patrol helped convince an Orange County judge to keep a former figure skating coach behind bars while he awaits trial.
Andrei Berekhovski is facing three counts of performing sex acts on a child; a former student who, according to court filings, was 12 at the time of the attacks.
Prosecutors believe Berekhovski began sexually abusing the child in 2005, while the girl was living with Berekhovski and his wife, who is also a figuring skating coach.
Court records show the girl lived with the couple in order to train full-time at the rink where the Berekhovskis worked.
After the assaults, the student abruptly stopped figure-skating and did not share the assaults with authorities until 2018, when, according to a civil lawsuit, she was inspired by the U.S. Gymnasts who came forward to report abuse from then-team doctor Larry Nassar.
On Friday, prosecutor Jenny Rossman fought to keep Berekhovski in jail, according to evidence presented at the bond hearing, Berekhovski fled to Russia the same day he learned he was under investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The former figure skating coach remained overseas for nearly three years before being extradited back to the U.S., according to U.S. Border Patrol Agent Michael Cluck. Berekhovski’s extradition only happened, Cluck explained, after Interpol Police picked him up in Poland on a trip to try and visit his parents.
Berekhovski’s defense attorney argued the former figure skating coach did nothing wrong when he left for Russia since he was not under arrest at the time of his departure. Berekhovski’s wife even testified on his behalf, but it was not enough to convince the judge.
In 2019, SafeSport, a nonprofit group dedicated to ending abuse in sports, placed Berekhovski on their discipline list. He was deemed “ineligible” to coach or participate in figure skating until further notice.
U.S. Figure Skating upheld the grievance and posted the disciplinary action on the organization’s website.