American is sentenced to 10 days in jail for reportedly breaking into a Russian children’s library

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — An American English-language tutor was arrested in Moscow on hooliganism charges for breaking into a children’s library while intoxicated and was sentenced to 10 days in jail, state news agency RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday.

News reports said William Nycum was found in the library on Friday after breaking a window to gain entry.

Nycum was in Russia on a six-month tourist visa, staying with acquaintances and working as an English instructor, the reports said.

The arrest comes at a time of heightened tension between Russia and the United States centering on Russia’s war in Ukraine, and increasing concern about Americans detained in Russia.

U.S. officials on Monday said an American soldier has been detained in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok on charges of stealing from a Russian girlfriend whom he met while stationed in South Korea.

Russia is holding several Americans, including corporate security executive Paul Whelan, who was convicted of espionage, and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in March 2023 on espionage charges. The U.S. government has designated both as wrongfully detained and has been trying to negotiate their release.

Others detained include Travis Leake, a musician who had been living in Russia for years and was arrested last year on drug-related charges; Marc Fogel, a teacher in Moscow who was sentenced to 14 years in prison, also on drug charges; and dual nationals Alsu Kurmasheva and Ksenia Khavana.

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