Judge allows release of ice dancer, coach from Howard Co. jail

World-class ice dancer and coach Genrikh Sretenski will be allowed to leave the jail where he has been held since last week, a judge ruled Monday, provided that he surrender himself to New York authorities within 72 hours on criminal charges of sexual abuse and endangering a child.

Under conditions set by Howard County District Judge Sue-Ellen Hantman, Sretenski, 50, will have to surrender his passport and post as bond the Clarksville home that he and his wife own. If he doesn't go to New York within three days of leaving the county jail, his family could lose the home.

It was unclear if Sretenski, who has denied all wrongdoing, could meet the bond terms in time to be out of jail Monday.

In allowing Sretenski's release, Hantman agreed with defense lawyer Rene Sandler, who contended that the New York warrant for his return to face sexual abuse and related charges did not meet all the requirements of Maryland law for extradition. Sretenski appeared from the jail via a closed-circuit monitor, and was assisted by a Russian translator who was in the courtroom.

Prosecutor Ed Bellafiore, who said he believed the warrant and its paperwork did measure up, asked the judge to consider ordering the Russian-born Sretenski to turn in his passport and setting a high bond if she was inclined to find the New York documents insufficient..

Sretenski was accused of sex offenses in New York, charges that come on top of a $5 million civil suit alleging that he fondled a figure skater he mentored in Laurel. He had been held without bail in Howard County since he was taken in handcuffs Tuesday from his home, Sandler said.

The charges against Sretenski are sealed in Essex County, N.Y., home to the ice skating center of Lake Placid. Police said the charges stem from an incident last year. But no information about the four charges will be released until they are unsealed at Sretenski's arraignment, according to the district attorney's office there.

The civil lawsuit, filed in July in Prince George's County by the father of a skater Sretenski coached in Laurel, contended that he fondled her at the 2011 skating championships in Lake Placid and sent her more than 500 text messages.

The connection between the lawsuit and the charges, if any, is not known.


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