Veniamin Gonikman asks to temporarily return to Ukraine

Published On: Mar 20 2014 03:50:04 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 20 2014 08:25:42 PM EDT

Veniamin Gonikman filed a request to leave the country for up to 90 days to help an ill daughter in Ukraine.

DETROIT -

A man convicted in Detroit of luring European women to the U.S. to work as strippers has asked to temporarily return to Ukraine to help an ill daughter.

Veniamin Gonikman's lawyers link the request to the extraordinary events in Ukraine. Russia has annexed Crimea, and Ukrainian officials say they fear military action elsewhere.

Gonikman has served a three-year prison sentence, but his travel outside the U.S. is restricted until 2016. He's now living in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.

His request to leave the country for up to 90 days was filed Thursday with a Detroit federal judge.

Gonikman is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Ukraine. The U.S. government says he helped smuggle two Ukrainian women into the U.S. before the women were forced to serve as exotic dancers in Detroit.

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