A Russian YouTuber and blogger has been hit with a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence, after being arrested late last year for playing Pokemon Go in a church.
A Yekaterinburg court found Ruslan Sokolovsky guilty of “inciting religious believers and inciting hatred” reports the BBC. The 22-year-old pleaded not guilty.
Sokolovsky recorded a video of himself playing the augmented reality monster catching game in a local Orthodox church. He was arrested shortly after uploading the video, which currently has nearly 2 million views.
Earlier in the week, the court also found him guilty of “Illegal trafficking of special technical equipment,” after a pen with a built-in camera was discovered in his home.
The prosecution pushed for a three-and-a-half year jail time, but the judge gave him a suspended sentence instead. A suspended sentence allows the defendant to perform a period of probation; if they don’t break the law during that time, the sentence will be dismissed.
"Until the very last moment I didn't know what the sentencing would be, that's why I was very nervous and feared I would get a real prison term," said Sokolovsky. He also apologised to religious believers, and said that his delivery in the video was “too cynical for Russian society.”
"Without the support from reporters, I would possibly have been given a real prison sentence," Sokolovsky added.