A Russian court on Thursday convicted seven gang members of killing 14 women and burying them in a mass grave after forcing them to work as prostitutes, a prosecutor's official said. The regional court in Nizhny Tagil sentenced the group's alleged ringleader, Eduard Chudinov, to life in prison, said Rimma Bobina, spokeswoman for regional prosecutors office.
His brother Dmitry Chudinov was sentenced to 21 years in prison, while five other people were given between 10 and 24 years in prison, Bobina said.
As many as 30 women had been abducted between 2002 and 2005, but forensics experts had only been able to identify 14. The RIA-Novosti news agency said the women were lured to an apartment where they were raped and forced to work as prostitutes. One victim was a 13-year-old girl and another was reportedly a relative of the Chudinovs.
The women were buried in a forest outside of Nizhny Tagil, a grim industrial city in the Ural Mountains about 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) east of Moscow.
"Twenty-two years? What's that? In 22 years they'll be free and they'll start doing the same thing all over again," Natalia Bubnova, the mother of one of the victims, said in televised comments.