Reeflay, the popular Russian YouTuber who grabbed headlines in December for live-streaming his 28-year-old girlfriend, Valentina Grigoryeva's death after locking her out on a balcony in freezing temperatures at the behest of viewers, was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, a judge in Moscow found Reshetnyak guilty ofinvoluntary manslaughter in Grigoryeva's death, and he was sentenced to six years at a "maximum-security prison colony," according to The Moscow Times.
How Did Grigoryeva Die?
In December 2020, the 30-year-old streamer, whose real name is Stanislav Reshetnyak, forced Grigoryeva to stand on a balcony in sub-zero temperatures in only her underwear.
Reshetnyak verbally and physically abused Grigoryeva live on stream in exchange for viewers' cash tips. During one such stream, one of the viewers reportedly paid her $1,000 to leave her freezing on the balcony of his home in the village of Ivanovka, near Moscow.
When he later went to bring her back inside, he found Grigoryeva unresponsive. "Valya, are you alive?" he was heard saying as he tried to revive her with the camera rolling. "My bunny, what's up with you? Valya! Valya! Damn, you look like you are dead."
"Bunny, come on ... tell me something. I'm worrying. Damn ... I don't feel her heartbeat," he continued. "Guys... no pulse... She's pale. She is not breathing," he reportedly told the thousands of viewers who had logged into the broadcast. He tried to revive her but failed, following which he lifted her body and placed it on a sofa and covered it up. The stream continued as paramedics arrived on the scene and pronounced her dead.
While initial reports claimed that she froze to death, the cause of death was later revealed to be injuries sustained to the death, with a medical examination finding traumatic brain injury, cerebral hemorrhage and multiple bruises on her body, as previously reported.
What is Trash-Streaming?
Grigoryeva's live-streamed death drew nationwide attention to a disturbing Russian YouTube trend known as "trash-streaming," where content creators get paid to broadcast violent and humiliating acts on themselves or other individuals. There have been instances of vloggers banging one's head against a restaurant table, burying a homeless man alive, eating maggots or fish guts, and committing other similar grotesque acts, all to make some quick cash.
Grigoryeva's death prompted Russian lawmakers to crack down on trash-streaming with threats of jail for up to six years. "It's absolutely obvious that we must react. We'll consider a bill as soon as it is tabled," said Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, in February.