Adopted Boy Sent Back to Russia Showing No Signs of Violent Behavior, Russian Officials Say

Artyem Savilev seen smiling, playing as international adoption drama rages.

ByABC News via logo
April 9, 2010, 12:18 PM

April 12, 2010— -- The Russian boy whose adoptive U.S. mother sent him back to Moscow has shown no signs of the violent, psychiatric behavior she cited among the reasons for returning him, according to Russian officials who have examined 7-year-old Artyem Saviliev.

Torry Hansen of Shelbyville, Tenn., told Russian officials in a note pinned inside the boy's pocket that adoption officials there had lied to her about Artyem's mental stability.

"No, no this is not true," Pavel Astokhov, Russia's children's rights commissioner, told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview. "How can you imagine this, [that] a 7-year-old boy can be dangerous?"

Federal officials have arrived in Tennessee to join the investigation. No charges have been filed yet against Hansen or her mother, Nancy Hansen, but authorities said they are looking into whether there have been any acts of child endangerment or conspiracy.

Artyem, who was renamed Justin in the United States, has been seen playing and smiling since he was returned to his native country.

"All medical exams was done before the adoption procedure," Astokhov said, "and Torry Hansen knew about Artyem, everything."

But Astokhov said Russian doctors found "some scars and some bodily injuries," including marks on his leg and hands. It was unclear, he said, what kind of marks they were.

"I don't know exactly, but there are some scars of two or three months old," he said.

In a video taped Friday by Russian officials and obtained by ABC News, Astokhov asked Artyem if he'd been hit by Hansen. He said no, but that Hansen had pulled his hair.

There was also no public or home school registration for Artyem in Tennessee, and it is unclear what kind of education he received during his six months in the United States.

Hansen and her attorney declined a request for comment.

In Hansen's note to Russian officials, she called her son "dangerous."

"I no longer wish to parent this child," Hansen's note read.

"This child is mentally unstable," Hansen wrote to the Russian Ministry of Education. "He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues/behaviors. I was lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues."

Artyem's adoption woes made international headlines last week when Moscow officials reported that he had been put on a plane from the United States with a note from Hansen saying she no longer wanted him and wanted the adoption annulled.

"The first day when he came to Moscow he didn't say nothing because he was disoriented because the mother of Torry Hansen told him that it would be a kind of trip or vacation," Astokhov said. "And he was surprised when came to Moscow."