Pokemon GO player sentenced for playing in the wrong place

Pokemon GO player sentenced for playing in the wrong place
This is not the first time we'll be covering a bizarre story involving a Pokemon GO player. And, considering summer is just around the corner and in-game activity will probably rise again, it won't be the last. But it's probably the most unexpected one.

A Russian man received a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence after he posted a video of himself playing Pokemon GO in the wrong place. Ruslan Sokolovsky, aged 22, was arrested in August 2016, after filming himself playing the popular AR title at an Orthodox church in Yekaterinburg, Russia, built in remembrance of Tsar Nicholas II.

In Sokolovsky's video, he was filmed saying that the risk of being arrested is “complete nonsense” right before he entered the church, despite the fact that the public in Russia was warned that playing such games in a temple could result in legal consequences.

“Who could get offended if you're just walking around with your smartphone in a church?” Ruslan said.


In addition to offending the church, Sokolovsky was found guilty of “illegal trafficking of special technical equipment” after a pen with a built-in camera was found in his home during a search. For all of his offenses, prosecution pushed for a sentence of 42 months behind bars, so Sokolovsky was rather relieved that he ended up with a suspended one, even if it's for the same period of time.

“Without the support from reporters, I would possibly have been given a real prison sentence,” he said.

This is not the first time churches and Pokemon have clashed. In July 2016, a trainer bearing the username Pinknose claimed the notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, which happened to be a gym, and left a Clefairy named Love Is Love to guard it. This resulted in a furious response by the WBC on Twitter, which condemned both the game and that specific Clefairy.

Sokolovsky's story should serve as a reminder that Pokemon GO players should remain aware of their surroundings. You will always have a second chance at catching a shiny Magikarp, but a sentence, suspended or not, is a permanent stain on your record. Don't break real laws for a chance of virtual rewards.

via BBC

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17 Comments

1. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Lol

2. Phonehex

Posts: 763; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

However silly it sounds , its not funny to face (prospective) prison time and legal hassles . Sad.

3. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"“Who could get offended if you're just walking around with your smartphone in a church?”Ruslan said." The guy was just arrogant enough to defy the law. Now he faces the consequences of his actions. Crazy.

4. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

What's crazy is that there's a law against walking around with your smartphone in a church...

8. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"after filming himself playing the popular AR title at an Orthodox church in Yekaterinburg, Russia, built in remembrance of Tsar Nicholas II." IN REMEMBRANCE OF TSAR NICHOLAS 2. That means the Russian church is more like a monument than an ordinary church. So there lies the difference.

14. danny_a2005

Posts: 361; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

Who is that TSAR Nicholas 2 anyway? nobody cares tbh.

16. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Okay, let me rephrase that then: What's crazy is that there's a law against walking around with your smartphone in a monument...

9. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"after filming himself playing the popular AR title at an Orthodox church in Yekaterinburg, Russia, built in remembrance of Tsar Nicholas II." IN REMEMBRANCE OF TSAR NICHOLAS 2. That means the Russian church is more like a monument than an ordinary church. So there lies the difference.

10. lyndon420

Posts: 6790; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Some places will imprison you if you're caught with a picture of a woman on your phone. Some religious mindsets would have you beheaded in public. Millennials think they are above the law.

15. danny_a2005

Posts: 361; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

Some laws are stupid tbh

17. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Eh, young folks have thought they were above the law since the law existed. Nothing new. Still doesn't make certain laws any less inane.

5. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Play stupid games win stupid prizes.

6. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3106; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

People still play this game? I thought people lost interest a long time ago.

7. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

He was arrested in August 2016, just a few weeks after it came out (a long time ago).

13. southernzombie

Posts: 355; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Just because you don't like it doesn't mean no one else does. There are still millions that play every day.

11. xperian

Posts: 418; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

Isn't the church supposed to be about forgiveness and stuff?

12. southernzombie

Posts: 355; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

The church didn't arrest him, nor did they prosecute him. Law is the law regardless if we think its silly or not.

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