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Old 12-26-2018, 06:23 AM
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Default RUSSIAN ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ duo allegedly hunted down sex workers to beat and rob

https://nypost.com/2018/12/25/russia...s-to-beat-rob/

‘Bonnie & Clyde’ duo allegedly hunted down sex workers to beat and rob
By Rebecca Rosenberg



A ruthless Russian Bonnie and Clyde targeted Manhattan sex workers in a string of brutal robberies, court papers say.

Menacing muscleman Alexander Popenkov, who is trained as a UFC fighter, and his wife, Maryana Kayumova, both 25, trolled online sex ads for victims before setting up phony appointments for such things as “private in-home-massage or roleplaying-type dates,’’ documents state.

The suspects “worked together to achieve planned and premeditated attacks on victims they know will likely be easy targets and vulnerable,” said Assistant DA Danbee Kim at the duo’s November bail hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Prosecutors say Popenkov and Kayumova savagely beat and robbed at least eight women, most of whom are Russian immigrants.

The victims were hesitant to come forward, given their line of work and immigration status, Danbee said.

On Sept. 16, the couple targeted two women in quick succession, according to court papers.

Popenkov set up a 7:30 p.m. “date” with a 27-year-old sex worker at her apartment on East 62nd Street near Second Avenue, the criminal complaint states.

Court papers say the moment the victim opened her door, the towering brute slugged her in the face and dragged her to the back of her apartment.

He then held the woman down while his wife ransacked the pad, swiping a phone, cash, credit cards and keys, court papers charge.

Just 40 minutes later, the pair allegedly struck again, attacking a woman in a similar manner on East 39th Street near Park Avenue. When the victim opened her door, Popenkov punched her in the face, grabbed her by the neck and then buzzed his wife in, authorities say.

The suspects took off with a wad of cash and the victim’s phone, leaving her with a smashed and bleeding face, according to court records.

”One of the two victims was pushed so hard by defendant Popenkov that her injuries included a broken orbital socket and nose, which required surgery afterwards,” Danbee told Justice Maxwell Wiley.

Prosecutors say they have video of an attack on a third woman and that a fourth victim “described being beaten so badly that she urinated herself.”

The suspects were arrested on charges including burglary and robbery and released on $35,000 bond each.

Danbee had asked Judge Wiley to hike the defendants’ bail to $500,000, arguing that they had threatened numerous victims to discourage them from coming forward.

The menacing texts allegedly included, “shut the hell up and live in peace” and “I f—king forgot about you, let’s keep it that way.”

Defense lawyer Todd Spodek said Popenkov works as a personal trainer and is currently trying to get permanent residency.

“His whole life is on the line here. He’s not going to do anything to risk it,” he told the judge.

Jeffrey Chabrowe, a lawyer for Kayumova, insisted that his client hadn’t tampered with witnesses and wasn’t a flight risk. He added that she works full-time at a hair salon.

Wiley ruled against increasing the duo’s bail.

Prosecutors said their investigation is ongoing. If convicted, the defendants each face up to 25 years in prison.
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