Pokémon GO: Russian blogger could face 3.5 years in prison for playing Pokémon GO in a church

Russian Blogger Could Face 3.5 Years in Prison for Playing Pokemon Go in Church

A russian blogger has been sentenced to over three years in prison for recording himself playing Pokémon GO in church.

Ruslan Sokolovsky was originally arrested in September 2016 after he posted a video of himself playing the popular mobile game at the church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg.

After reviewing the video, russian officials charged Sokolovsky with three crimes: inciting hatred or enmity, offending religious believers, and illegally bringing in equipment for covert filming. The first two crimes were for comments made in the video, which russian officials claimed likened Pokémon to Jesus Christ and insulted the patriarch of the russian orthodox church. The third crime was due to a pen with a built in camera found on Sokolovsky’s person when he was arrested. Sokolovsky pleaded not guilty to all three charges, but has been detained since his arrest.

As the case wrapped up yesterday, prosecutors called for real jail time for Sokolovsky, stating that a suspended sentence would give the blogger a “sense of impunity.” No verdict has been reached, but the judge in the case announced a final decision would be reached on May 11. Sokolovsky’s lawyer is hoping that his client will be either acquitted or given a suspended sentence for the charges.