AUSTIN (Nexstar) — A group of Texas congressional leaders is calling for the release of a Marine veteran from Texas in Russian custody.
Trevor Reed, 29, was sentenced to 9 years in Russian prison in July for assaulting a police officer after a night of heavy drinking in Moscow. His parents said the charges are false and the punishment is too severe.
“Our son is not guilty,” Trevor’s father, Joey Reed, said. “It’s a sham from beginning to end.”
“Society appears to be normal and progressive and growing,” he said, but “beneath it is still apparently this old USSR mentality with the police and the judicial system.”
Joey Reed said he’s “fearful” that relations between Russia and the United States are impacting his son’s case.
“It has been a long, hard time to be without him,” Trevor’s mother, Paula Reed, said. “You really don’t know until you’re in this situation.”
Texas Congressman August Pfluger (R, TX 11) House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R- TX 10), Senator John Cornyn, (R-TX) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, (R- CA 23) participated in a press conference with Reed’s parents to highlight their legislation which calls for his release. They believe Reed is a political pawn.
“These charges were clearly politically motivated and the entire process was a sham,” Pfluger said.
The resolution filed this year would put pressure on Russian officials to release Reed so he can return to the United States.
“It’s time to bring Trevor home,” Cornyn said.
“If Russia wants to be reviewed as an enlightened government, one that can influence policy around the world, I think it needs to up its game and correct its deficiencies when it comes to these show trials against American citizens and lack of transparency and and fair process,” Cornyn said.
McCarthy said the Biden administration was also involved.
“Trevor is not forgotten,” McCarthy said. “He’s very much at the forefront.”
A request for information and statement from the Russian government was not returned Wednesday.
Reed was transferred on March 2 to another facility, then transferred back to the original prison he was being held in, his family shared.
“We got a letter from Trevor describing some of the things that’s happened to him,” Joey Reed said, adding that most of the limited information has come from the U.S. government.
He was not injured or interrogated, but he was put into a cell for 3 days with “deranged people,” Joey Reed said.
Reed has appealed his sentence.