DNA links missing woman to Seagate couple
Suspected murderer Dimitry Yakovlev may be done in by a pair of panties.
Undergarments belonging to murder victim Irina Malezhik were found in Yakovlev’s Seagate home during a 2009 search, prosecutors announced at a federal court hearing last week.
The clothing — along with an assortment of pornographic photos of another murder victim — may be “trophies” that link Yakovlev to the two unsolved slayings.
They’re also key pieces of evidence attorneys for Yakovlev and his wife, Julia, want to keep away from a jury.
During a hearing on Friday, Yakovlev’s attorney, Alex Grosshtern, claimed the couple never knew the items were in the house and inferred that the evidence may have been planted there.
“My client’s shocked it was discovered,” Grosshtern told a federal court judge.
Malezhik, a resident of Brighton Beach, disappeared in 2007. Her body has never been found.
Investigators have long suspected that Yakovlev and his wife were involved in the woman’s death. Police arrested the couple for cashing over $6,500 in checks from her account months after her disappearance.
Malezhik, who worked as a Russian interpreter for Brooklyn Civil Court, met Yakovlev during a case he was involved in. She also tutored Yakovlev and his wife in English, according to court papers.
In interviews with police, Yakovlev shrugged off the checks — as well as charges of identity theft — claiming they were repayments of loans he had given Malezhik before she vanished.
During their search, investigators found Malezhik’s underwear in the basement boiler room. Investigators also uncovered pornographic photos of Viktor Alekseyev, a former business partner of Yakovlev who disappeared a year before Malezhik did.
Alekseyev’s butchered remains were found scattered through a thatch of woods in New Jersey a few months after he disappeared, prosecutors said.
Cops haven’t found evidence linking Yakovlev to Alekseyev’s killing, but the Seagate resident was caught using Alekseyev’s credit cards after the murdered man’s remains were found.
Investigators have also attempted to connect Yakovlev to the disappearance of Michael Klein, a former Sea Gate resident who hasn’t been seen since November 2003, shortly after Yakolev and his wife purchased his property, according to published reports.
Federal prosecutors indicted Yakovlev for murder and identity theft in March.
His wife, Julia, is only facing identity theft charges, prosecutors said.
The judge overseeing the case will decide whether to let the damning evidence be heard in the next few weeks, before the case goes to trial.
DA puts brakes on sex trafficker
A miscreant who romanced young German immigrant before forcing her into a life of prostitution is facing a long prison stretch now that he’s been indicted on sex trafficking charges.
Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes said Thursday that David Young, 27, invited the 22-year-old and her two young children to move into his apartment.
Once she did, Young began forcing her to turn tricks. He even placed ads offering her services on websites, Hynes said.
Prosecutors allege that Young would set the woman up with potential johns throughout the city, as well as Atlantic City, Miami and Las Vegas.
If the woman didn’t follow Young’s instructions, he would beat her severely, said prosecutors, who added that Young forced his victim to get tattoos reading “Daddy’s Girl” and “One Dinero” — which he reportedly saw as signs of ownership.
Hynes announced the Young’s indictment as he unveiled a new community outreach and education program about sex trafficking being offered by the Kings County District Attorney’s office.
“Sex trafficking is one of the most barbaric crimes we deal with. It happens all too often,” Hynes said. “We need to combat this problem through a combination of law enforcement and education to warn parents and protect children from predators.”
According to FBI studies, 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in the United States each year. The victims range in age from nine to 19.
Anyone with knowledge of sex trafficking in the borough is encouraged to call (718) 250-2770.