Elkhorn child abuse case drawing international attention
ELKHORN The case charging Kathleen and Martin O’Brien with abusing their children adopted from Russia has drawn international attention.
Boris Koltsov and Boris Leonov from the Channel One Russia television network were in Walworth County on Thursday and Friday to cover a preliminary hearing in the case filed against the Lake Geneva couple. The journalists work from the network’s New York City bureau.
The story attracted Channel One attention because the adopted children are from Russia.
“This is not the first case like this we have covered,” said Koltsov, bureau chief. “We have covered similar cases in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Tennessee and Georgia in the nearly three years I have been here in the United States.”
Koltsov, who speaks fluent English, does most of the reporting on the two-person team. Leonov is the cameraman and speaks very little English.
The Channel One Russia team in New York City focuses on nonpolitical and nongovernment stories featuring Russians living in the U.S.
“For example, we recently did a story about a 100-year-old man who continues to work as a parking lot attendant in the Bronx,” Koltsov said. “We also featured a 98-year-old yoga teacher.
“The Washington bureau covers most government issues and politics, including elections,” he said. “We occasionally cover news at the United Nations if it is of interest to our Russian viewers.”
The O’Brien case in Walworth County is of great interest in Russia, Koltsov said.
“One question we have not been able to answer is why American families with children of their own adopt Russian children and then mistreat them to the degree we see in this case,” Koltsov said. “It doesn’t make sense to us, but we continue to look for those answers as we cover these cases.”
Koltsov said he would prepare reports on the case and the preliminary hearing for network’s Saturday news cycle.