72-year-old director of Chelyabinsk Electrometallurgical Plant is suspected of having had sex with multiple underage girls FILE PHOTO. A general view of Chelyabinsk Electrometallurgical Plant (ChEMK). © Sputnik / Alexander Kondratyuk

A court in west-central Russia on Wednesday arrested the director general of Chelyabinsk Electrometallurgical Plant (ChEMK), Pavel Khodorovsky, the main suspect in a high-profile pedophilia prosecution.

The hearing was held behind closed doors, with the CEO landing in pre-trial detention for two months, which is standard practice in Russia.

“Criminal cases have been initiated against the director and other persons for committing crimes against the sexual integrity of minors and public morals,” the local chapter of the Russian Investigative Committee has said.

The court has also arrested another suspect in the case, a young woman whose identity has not been publicly disclosed. According to local media reports, the woman had sexual relations with Khodorovsky when she was a minor, and has allegedly been acting as a pimp on his behalf after coming of age.

“The middlewoman used to be a girlfriend of Khodorovsky, but she grew too old, and he asked her to get him younger girls. The girlfriend delivered girls she knew to him, getting money in exchange,” a source close to the investigation told local 74.RU media outlet.

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At least two underage girls have reportedly been identified in the case. One of them, who is already 16- years -old, the age of sexual consent Russia, allegedly slept with Khodorovsky for money, while another, a younger minor, became the target of “indecent actions” on his part.

The suspect is also reportedly being accused of possessing and procuring illegal pornographic material, with a large cache of such content discovered on his phone by investigators.

Khodorovsky has held top management posts with ChEMK since the early 1990s, serving as the plant’s director general since 2001. The pedophilia case against the CEO comes amid troubled times at the plant and the larger ChEMK conglomerate, which was seized early this year by Russian authorities over alleged irregularities with its privatization in the 1990s. The group’s now-former owners, billionaire Yury Antipov and his associates, were also ordered to pay 105 billion rubles (nearly $1.2 billion) in restitution over a debt write-off scheme, deemed by the court to have been unjust enrichment. (RT)