Son-in-law says chess tutor accused of molestation would never harm children

Another teacher says victim respects authority, but is known to change stories

By Sanela Sabovic - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A South Florida man appeared in court Wednesday, a month after he was arrested for allegedly molesting a 7-year-old girl while he was giving her chess lessons.

Valeriy Gorokhov's attorney said his client has never had any issues or problems with students in all the years he's been a teacher.

"What concerns me the most (is) the defendant's statement (that) if she did touch his penis, it was an accident," the judge said. 

Deputies said the 65-year-old chess tutor would give lessons to children at his Deerfield Beach home.

They said it was during a lesson that he placed a seashell in his pants and asked the victim to retrieve it.

"He told the child the seashell had been lost, that it had fallen into his penis. He had the child then try to get that seashell back," BSO spokeswoman Gina Carter said. 

Gorokhov's defense attorney, Barry Butin, argued that there was no physical evidence found and no history of inappropriate behavior between his client and minor children.

Butin presented two witnesses to the judge, one of whom is Gorokhov's son-in-law, who said he trusts his kids with their grandfather.

Adam Levine says he trusts his father-in-law with his children.

"I frankly don't believe this allegation," Adam Levine said. "I don't believe for a minute that he would harm my children."

One of the 7-year-old's teachers also testified, saying that the child respects authority, but has problems with other students and is known to change stories from time to time.

7-year-old's teacher claims girl has problems with other students, changes stories.

The judge decided that he needed more time to review the case.

He is expected to rule on Friday whether or not Gorokhov should be granted bond.

Prosecutors are asking for a $100,000 bond and for Gorokhov to not have any contact with minors.

Another hearing will be set for Gorokhov in September.

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