Russian blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky is facing up to three and a half years of jail time on charges of “incitement to hatred and attacks on the liberty of faith” after his trial wrapped up this past Friday. These charges all stem from his arrest last year after he posted footage of himself playing Pokemon GO in the Church of All Saints on his blog, although The Russian Orthodox Church claims that the nature of the video is the reason Sokolovsky now faces jail in lieu of the act of actually playing Pokemon GO itself.
With the trial now complete, the final verdict on the matter will be delivered on May 11, 2017, meaning that 22-year-old Sokolovsky will be made aware of his fate soon. These charges can have a maximum of seven and a half years of jail time attached to them, but prosecutors have opted to push for a three and a half year sentence. In the meantime, those wondering what it took to face such charges within Russia (while playing Pokemon GO no less) can take a look at his video below.
There have been a number of unfortunate stories surrounding the hit mobile game since it launched. Just last year a woman was struck and killed by a driver playing Pokemon GO, which stands out as one of the most tragic outcomes from the title’s fusion into mainstream culture.
Of course, there have also been positive uses for the app, namely police using Pokemon GO to locate and arrest a suspect wanted for attempted murder. With millions still playing the mobile title every month, more and more stories are sure to surface as well – both good and bad.
For now, however, readers can only wait to see whether or not Ruslan Sokolovsky will face jail time for something as silly as playing Pokemon GO in a church and filming it.
Pokemon GO is currently available on iOS and Android devices.