WARNING: DISTRESSING VISUALS
A popular YouTube streamer in Russia has been jailed after his girlfriend died during a disturbing live broadcast.
Stanislav Reshetnyak has been sentenced to six years in prison after subjecting his girlfriend to abuse, including forcing her outside in her underwear during the Russian winter.
Under the online name Stas Reeflay, the live streamer would perform abusive stunts for money from his viewers, according to The Moscow Times.
In a shocking incident in December 2020, his 28-year-old girlfriend, Valentina Grigoryeva, reportedly suffered from hypothermia after being dragged out onto a balcony and being left in freezing temperatures.
As he brought her back inside, the gravity of the situation dawned on Reshetnyak.
"Bunny, come on... tell me something. I’m worrying. Damn... I don’t feel her heartbeat," he told those watching.
"Guys... No pulse. She’s pale. She is not breathing."
The scene of her death, as well as Reshetnyak's futile attempt to revive her, was live streamed to viewers.
The cameras were still rolling when paramedics pronounced her dead.
Initial reports suggested the woman died from freezing to death, but forensic investigators later pointed to head trauma with brain injury and cerebral haemorrhage ruled as the primary cause of death, local media reported.
Shocking death part of 'trash streaming' subculture
Reshetnyak's videos were part of an online subculture popular in Russia known as "trash streaming" – a dark but potentially lucrative category of streamers who perform vulgar and sometimes violent acts for money from followers.
Reshetnyak was reportedly paid the equivalent of about A$1200 for the stunt that led to Ms Grigoryeva's death.
While Reshetnyak streamed on a Russian-focused platform, he had a presence on YouTube and videos of the grisly episode were repeatedly uploaded to the site before being taken down.
"We're shocked to learn of this tragic incident," a YouTube spokesperson said at the time.
"This kind of graphic content is not acceptable on YouTube."
According to Russian outlet TASS, Reshetnyak will spend six years in a "maximum security colony".
In 2017, Russia decriminalised certain acts of domestic violence bringing in administrative penalties rather than criminal penalties for cases that didn't result in major injuries.
The move, which had the support of the Russian Orthodox Church, meant perpetrators who beat family members or partners were merely issued with a fine if the incident didn't result in "substantial bodily harm".
However earlier this month, Russia’s constitutional court ruled punishment for domestic violence as well as protection for victims were insufficient, ordering politicians to again update relevant legalisation.