On Tuesday, the Appellate Division, First Department of New York, suspended a former Debevoise & Plimpton associate who was convicted in 2011 for having sex with a 12-year old Russian ballet dancer. Now former attorney, Kenneth Schneider, 47, was accused by federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for essentially purchasing the boy from desperate parents and continuing to molest him for years both in Russia and in the U.S. The New York appeals court suspended Schneider pending the outcome of a final disciplinary hearing. In the criminal court case, Schneider has already been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
According to the order of the Appellate Division, First Department, Schneider’s attorney acknowledged that the conviction constituted a “serious crime” under Judiciary Law 90(4)(f). However, Schneider’s attorney requested the court to stay the proceedings until the appeal on his conviction pending before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is decided. However, the court denied the request,
The panel observed, “Absent a compelling reason, which does not exist here, an appeal of the conviction is not a basis for a stay.”
Schneider is the founder and president of the Apogee Foundation, a nonprofit for encouraging performing arts. Through the foundation, Schneider met his victim in Moscow in 1998, while he was an associate at the Moscow Office of Debevoise & Plimpton.
The boy’s parents were unable to pay for his board at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography, and Schneider told the instructors at the Academy that he would pay for the board of the 12-year old boy. Then, Schneider moved in with the boy and engaged in a sexual relationship between 2000 and 2001. Later he brought back the boy to Philadelphia in 2001 and continued the relationship.
Schneider left Debevoise in 2000 and established his own company. He was arrested in Cyprus in 2010.
The case is In the Matter of Kenneth Schneider, Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, No. 1733.