News/US: Ukrainian bride seeks protection from husband

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Subject: News/US: Ukrainian bride seeks protection from husband
From: Melanie Orhant (
Date: Thu Sep 02 1999 - 11:09:34 EDT

I don't know if anybody else read the original Inquirer article - but this
is a very interesting post script to it.


Ukrainian bride seeks protection from husband
Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 1999

Lora Shcherbakova Heisey, the Ukrainian gymnast featured in an Inquirer
series about American men shopping for wives in the former Soviet Union,
has filed papers seeking a protection order against the Harrisburg postal
worker who married her.

The papers, filed last week in the Superior Court of New Jersey, where Lora
Heisey has sought refuge with her 8-year-old son, alleged that she was
threatened by "ongoing abuse; physical against my son, emotional,
economical, constant yelling and throwing of items, threats to return child
to Ukraine."

Her husband of 10 months, Randy Heisey, said yesterday he was "innocent of
these charges." "I've put so much into this relationship and gotten back so
little. ... I've been more than hurt. I'm physically ill."

Randy Heisey, 46, said that he was deceived and wanted a divorce. His
attorney, Jeanne Wigbels of Harrisburg, said that there were no witnesses
to his wife's allegations and that the papers seeking a protection order
had no legal value because they were filed in New Jersey rather than

Heisey said he had no warning that his wife was about to leave. He said he
returned home early in the morning from his night shift at the post office
Aug. 11 to discover his wife and stepson missing. Lora Heisey said
yesterday that she left after her husband had pulled her son, Eugene, by
the hair and forced him to stay in his room for punishment. She said her
husband did not talk to her, was always at his mother's house, and was very
demanding. She said he never physically attacked her, though he frequently
threatened to send her or Eugene back to the Ukraine.

Lora Heisey, 30, said she sought the restraining order because she wants
protection when she returns to Harrisburg to reclaim her clothes and other
personal items. She has not yet received a green card, which would allow
her to stay in the United States, but she said she had completed the
technical requirements and expected approval.

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service said it cannot comment on
pending applications, but but it did say an applicant does not have to have
a successful marriage to get a green card. Proof that the marriage was a
sham to gain entry to the United States would, however, disqualify the
person. If she remains in the country, her husband is legally required to
support her for three years. Asked if he was opposing her green-card
application, Heisey said: "What would you do if you were treated the way
she treated me?" He declined to elaborate.

Mrs. Heisey and her son are staying with a New Jersey couple that helps
foreign students and others from abroad who need help in getting
established in this country. She was referred there by a shelter in
Harrisburg. She since has found a job and has enrolled Eugene in school.

Shcherbakova and Heisey were featured in an eight-part series that ran in
The Inquirer eight months ago. Titled "To Russia for Love," it was about 65
American men who took a tour of the former Soviet Union and were introduced
to hundreds of women who wanted to get married to American men.

Melanie Orhant

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