Two lighting technicians with Russia’s world-famous Bolshoi Ballet beginning 40-month jail terms in Hong Kong Tuesday for beating up and robbing a prostitute. Mark Statsev, 26, and Yury Kovrigin, 30, pleaded guilty to robbing 45-year-old Yu Yuk-kam in their Hong Kong hotel room while on tour with the ballet company.
The pair, who were working on a production of Spartacus at Hong Kong’s Cultural Centre, met Yu outside their hotel last September after drinking heavily.
They took her to Statsev’s room and paid Yu 200 US dollars for her services, a court heard Monday.
Afterwards, however, Statsev wrapped a towel around her neck and both men beat her before taking more than 1,000 US dollars from her handbag.
Police found Yu bleeding and badly injured and she spent two weeks in hospital recovering, according to a court report in Tuesday’s South China Morning Post.
Lawyers for the two men said they were drunk, dissatisfied with the service they received and that both would lose their jobs with the ballet troupe as a result of the incident.
The Bolshoi wrote letters to the court describing Statsev as “modest, reserved and non-aggressive” and Kovrigin as a “quiet, unaggressive person,” the Post reported.