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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Expat's Dad 'In Shock' at Arrest, Jail

The father of a jailed American said Friday that he is angry, frustrated and feeling helpless at his son's two-week incarceration in a Moscow jail on charges of hooliganism and resisting arrest.

"I am in complete and total shock. It's been a nightmare," said David McCarty, 46, in a telephone interview from Marshall, Texas. "This is constantly on our mind."

His son, William "Mac" McCarty, 24, has been in jail since April 11, when he was arrested by city militia officers who said he was drunk and urinating in the street near Voikovskaya Metro Station.

David McCarty said he had been waiting for a Wednesday hearing in Moscow, hoping it would result in his son's release. But when Judge Olga Sergacheva of the Golovinsky court ordered his son to be returned to jail to await trial, David McCarty said he decided to draw attention to his plight by writing to U.S. politicians and urging the U.S. State Department to intervene.

At Wednesday's 20-minute court hearing, a lawyer representing Mac McCarty, Boris Kuznetsov, argued that McCarty, a translator for a Western consulting firm, should be released because his rights were violated when militia officers took 20 hours to charge him and denied him immediate access to an attorney, said Yury Cherny, Kuznetsov's assistant.

The judge ruled that the militia had acted properly and ordered the American to be held for trial, said Cherny, estimating a trial would be held within two months. If convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of seven years for hooliganism alone.

Cherny took issue with the charge of hooliganism. "It is not hooliganism if there is no one on the street and a man really needs to go," said Cherny. "It would be hooliganism if you did it from your window into Red Square and there is a toilet next to you."

The militia investigator in the case, Sergei Kryazhov, was not available for comment Friday.

Shortly after his arrest, McCarty's co-workers at his Moscow office said they visited him in jail and that he appeared to have been beaten. Cherny said Friday that McCarty was not beaten and is being treated adequately in jail, where he shares a cell with eight men charged with petty crimes.

In Marshall, David McCarty said his son's friends from high school and the University of Texas have organized a campaign to urge U.S. officials to pressure their Russian counterparts.

He said his son's current predicament is completely out of character.

"This is the first time he's been in any kind of trouble in his entire life," said David McCarty. "This is not my son. This does not meet Mac's profile."