July 4, 2007 at 13:42:11
by Mirah Riben
Imagine at the age of five leaving everything you’ve ever known and coming to a new country, with a totally different language, all alone. You are told you will have a new family to love and care for you and instead, you discover on your very first night that you don’t even have your won room or even your own bed but are expected to share a bed with a 46-year-old pedophile who will rape you repeatedly at will for years on end. Afraid to ask for help, you wait and wait for someone to come to check up on you and take you from this nightmare of abuse. Post-placement supervision is required in Pennsylvania, where Masha lived with Mancuso, but only for domestic adoptions from foster care. However, no such law exists for international placement in violation of Russian regulations for post-placement visits and reports.
The international trafficking and sale of this little girl, Masha, to pedophile pornographer Matthew Mancuso goes under the heading a legal US adoption. Mancuso, a retired engineer from Plum, Pennsylvania, found his victim, Masha through an adoption agency in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Mancuso requested a five- or six-year-old, blonde, blue-eyed girl and picked Masha from videotapes the agency sent him.
Jeannene Smith handled Masha’s adoption through an Indiana-based agency called Families Thru International Adoption (FTIA). Fired by FTIA midway through the process, Smith went to New Jersey and founded another agency, Reaching Out Thru International Adoption (ROTIA), which finished the adoption and was supposed to do post-placement checks as required by Russian law.
No one associated with the agencies in either Indiana or New Jersey conducted a home study that would have revealed no room awaiting the child he planned to “adopt.” Nor did anyone at either agency interview Mancuso’s former wife, or his daughter, who alleges that he molested her. Smith has since co-founded a lobbying group called Focus on Adoption, which lobbies on behalf of agencies that facilitate international adoptions. She has not commented on the case publicly, citing confidentiality laws.
Masha is not the only child to be trafficked and sold to a pedophile through a US adoption agency. William (Bill) D. Peckenpaugh, from Marion County, Oregon, traveled to Romania to adopt a nine-year-old boy in 2001 through Tree of Life Adoption Center of Portland, Oregon.
Peckenpaugh, who claimed to be a Catholic bishop, was a member of the American Association for Nude Recreation. He is also the author of “Familial and Societal Attitudes toward Nudity, and the Effects on Children’s Development,” an article quoted by nudists and naturists alleging that naturist children are less sexually active and more emotionally healthy than non-naturist children.
As with Masha, the crime was discovered only after a sexually graphic video was found in a camera that had been returned to an electronics store. Peckenpaugh pleaded guilty to a total of thirty-three charges, including first-degree sodomy, two counts of sex abuse, and one count of using a child for the purpose of sexual display, and was sentenced in 2005 to thirty years in prison. Darin Tweedt of the Marion County D.A.’s office called the Romanian boy’s tragic journey from an East European orphanage to a life of sex abuse in Marion County “off the charts.”
Masha was rescued in an FBI sting porn sting that had followed pictures of on the Internet for years. At thirteen years of age, with pictures of her still online, she had the courage to go public, in an effort to urge abused children to tell someone. Masha worked with lawmakers to forge a bill known as “Masha’s Law.” The bill was introduced by John F. Kerry (D-MA) in recognition of the fact that child pornography “prolongs the child abuse indefinitely—long after the child is rescued.” The bill has passed but the abuse lingers on. “My pictures that are on the Internet disturb me more than what Matthew did because I know that the abuse stopped but those pictures are still on the Internet” Masha said in a Prime Time Live interview, January 2006.
Another victim of childhood sexual abuse from stepfather would up a 70-pound anorexic at age 21. She found her way through charitable organizations, she found her way to Judge Cheryl Allen of Pennsylvania who took her into her home and helped her get rehabilitation, a job, then within three years approval as a foster parent. The grateful woman took the name Faith Elezabeth Allen.
The third child given to Faith Allen to foster was none other than Masha, then 11-years-old. Judge Allen thinking the two could help heal one another’s sexual abuses, finalized the adoption and Masha became Mea (Masha Elizabeth Allen) Allen.
But this tale of abuse does not end here with happily-ever-after.
Masha aka Mea Allen is yet to be raped abused all over again by one Peter Stotis, a writer of sadistic and pedophilic sexual impulses in their many, often hidden, guises. Often using first person narratives, his prose takes on the point of view of the sexual predator. Stotis’ newest book, Show Adult, composed of two film-scripts, the first about editing and content, the second concerned with acting, direction, and instructions/vanity. Stotis, who considers Masha Allen "a child porn star," reportedly devotes a large portion of the book to her past, present and future exploitation.
Masha is the only living victim of child pornography Sotos has written about. The author is silent about whether or not he obtained the legal rights to Masha's story or the use of her name and likeness in advertising the book. Such unauthorized use is illegal under the New York Civil Rights law which permits an injunction on publication and monetary damages.
As of this writing, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com are both—incredibly—taking pre-publication orders for the book which profits from and continued the sexploitation of innocent victims.
We need to stop the spread of child pornography and we need to create regulations to ensure that no child is sold as a sex slave through the process of adoption in this country.