CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) – An international chess champion living in St. Louis appears to be on the run after being accused of paying his six-year-old son to drink two shots of alcohol for $20 each.
On Monday, Andre Diamant was charged with Endangering The Welfare Of A Child, a misdemeanor, but he has not been arrested yet because it`s believed he has fled the United States for his home country of Brazil.
Diamant was the youngest chess Grand Master in the history of Brazil, and moved to St. Louis with his wife so they could study at Webster University. Diamant plays on the school`s chess team.
Court papers say on either August 11 or 12, Diamant challenged his son to take two shots of what his father told him was tea, but was actually Sake, for $20 dollars a piece.
The boy`s mother was there but says she was afraid of her husband and asked a friend to call police.
Diamant was arrested at the couple`s Shrewsbury apartment, but he was released pending charges.
‘It is a truly depressing case to think that regardless of what he does or doesn`t do for a living, that he would work to convince his son or pay him to have a drink,’ said St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch. Mercifully, the drink made the child ill enough immediately that it didn`t go any farther than that,’ he said.
A few weeks after the incident, Diamant`s wife, also a chess champion and student at Webster, filed for divorce.
She also filed for an Order Of Protection from her husband, citing the drinking incident, and claiming it was not the first time her husband had given their son alcohol.
‘There was at least one other incident where he had given him some sips of beer and our client alleges that the father likely has some mental health issues and substance abuse issues, in this case being alcohol,’ said Susan Block, the wife`s divorce attorney.
The charge Diamant faces is only a misdemeanor, but attempts to serve him legal papers have failed. His wife`s lawyer says they are sure has gone back to Brazil, but they don`t know precisely where he is staying.
‘I think poor judgment runs across economic and educational lines,’ Block said. ‘I think a lot of people think the only people that are abusive to their children are poor people and that just isn`t true.’
The couple`s divorce is scheduled to come to court next week.
And even though they have not been able to find him, the wife`s attorney says she can still be granted a divorce and custody of the child, even in his absence. However, she cannot be awarded child support unless he appears in court.