A Moscow court Wednesday denied an American’s appeal against his nine-year prison sentence for endangering the lives of two police officers, a charge the former Marine denies.

Texas native Trevor Reed was convicted in July 2020 in connection with the altercation, which took place in August 2019 after Reed became intoxicated at a party.

“I regret that the appellate court has not corrected this gross injustice,” US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan told reporters following the hearing at Moscow City Court, “but it does not in any way affect the seriousness with which I and the US government will continue to pursue this matter for Trevor to get him released so that he can go home and be with his family.”

U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan speaks to the media after attending a court session of Trevor Reed.
US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan speaks to the media after attending a court session for Trevor Reed.
Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Russian authorities say Reed attacked the officers as they were driving him to a police station to sober up after the party. Reed’s supporters say the officers he was accused of assaulting changed their testimony throughout the trial. They also suggest that Reed was drugged during the party, which he attended with his girlfriend, Alina Tsibulnik.

For her part, Tsibulnik has claimed that Reed showed signs of having been beaten up after he was taken to the police station.

In an interview with NBC News earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin described Reed as a “drunk and a troublemaker” who “got himself s—faced and started a fight.”

Trevor Reed (back left) attending his appeal hearing.
Trevor Reed (back left) attends his appeal hearing.
Moscow City Court/TASS/Sipa USA
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in an annual nationwide televised phone-in show in Moscow, Russia.
Russia has wanted the release of Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko from the US.
Sputnik/Alexei Nikolskyi/Kremlin via Reuters

President Biden said June 16 that he had raised Reed’s case — as well as that of another former Marine, Paul Whelan — with his Russian counterpart when the two leaders met in Geneva. Putin had opened the door to possible discussions about a prisoner swap with the US and said those conversations would continue. Biden said he would follow up, too.

Reed was diagnosed with COVID-19 in May. Earlier this month, the US Embassy protested the lack of consular access to him during his hospitalization and said he had been repeatedly denied phone calls to his family or embassy personnel.

“My colleagues and I were able to speak with Trevor today,” Ambassador Sullivan said. “He is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstance. He’s a remarkable and resilient young man.”

Reed’s father told Fox News earlier this month that he believes Russian officials view his son as a “bargaining chip” due to their military service, which included stints standing guard at the presidential retreat at Camp David.

“There’s a lot of Russians here in American prisons that are not here for major crimes,” Joey Reed said of the idea of a prisoner swap. “Do you realize how many foreign citizens are in American prisons and we’re paying literally millions of dollars to house them and keep them instead of just deporting them?”

The US is holding two prisoners whose release Russia has sought for more than a decade, including arms trader Viktor Bout. The other is Konstantin Yaroshenko, a pilot who was extradited from Liberia in 2010 and convicted the next year of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the U.S.

This file photo taken on August 20, 2010 shows alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout as he arrives for a hearing at the Criminal Court in Bangkok.
Viktor Bout was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2011.
AFP via Getty Images

“We’re hoping that they can come to some kind of agreement whether it be an early release for Trevor or a prisoner swap. We really don’t know what the options that are going to be put on the table,” Reed’s mother, Paula, told Fox. “We don’t care how it happens. We just want him home.”

With Post wires

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