A Russian-born businessman accused of molesting orphaned teenage girls in his homeland and hiring them out for prostitution will stay in jail until a judge can determine whether he deserves bail.
Yesterday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Carol Wells continued the bail hearing in Philadelphia for Andrew Mogilyansky, 38, until tomorrow.
Mogilyansky, of Richboro, Bucks County, was arrested last week for allegedly traveling to Russia in 2003 and 2004 to engage in sex acts with girls as young as 13 in his St. Petersburg apartment as a way of introducing them into the child-prostitution ring.
Assistant U.S. Attorney General Michelle Megan-Kelly said that the victims were all 14 or younger, and that some were from a St. Petersburg orphanage.
Homeland Security Special Agent Megan Dipatri testified yesterday that in 2004 investigators seized Mogilyansky's laptop and encrypted documents crucial to the investigation.
Defense attorney George Newman said that Mogilyansky was a respected businessman and philanthropist who formed a charity to help victims of the school siege in Beslan, Russia, in 2004.
Newman also brought to the witness stand a number of businessmen who testified that Mogilyansky, a prominent publisher in the Russian community, did not represent a flight risk if released on bail.
Newman said that Mogilyansky was willing to surrender his passports, wear an electronic-monitoring device and leverage his material assets to secure bond.
Megan-Kelly cited Mogilyansky's wealth as a factor that makes him a flight risk.
"Mogilyansky has access to ample financial resources . . . and he has already traveled through Europe and countries that have no extradition treaties with us," Megan-Kelly said. "He is willing to forfeit $2 million to evade these penalties." *