By James R. Marsh
November 30, 2005 3:49 PM
Tomorrow night an extraordinary and unprecedented story will air on ABC Primetime about my client, a Russian orphan girl who was adopted by an American pedophile.
When millionaire Matthew A. Mancuso adopted five year old Masha from a Russian orphanage, she had already lived a tragic life. Stabbed by her drunken mother at age three, Masha hoped for a better life in the United States. Instead she was sent to live near Pittsburgh with a pedophile who had a long history of abusing young girls. During the next five years, Mancuso sexually assaulted Masha almost daily while slowly starving her to keep her body thin and childlike. Some of the abuse was photographed, both at their home in Plum Borough and at Disney World. Mancuso traded many of these hard core images on the internet which is how the FBI caught him and rescued Masha.
The ABC Primetime report chronicles Masha’s adoption from a small industrial city in the south of Russia to her new home in the outskirts of Pittsburgh and questions many events that could have stopped the depraved abuse, including why no one from the adoption agency ever visited Masha in her new home and why Mancuso’s ex-wife and grown daughter were never interviewed about his past. The later could have exposed the claims of his biological daughter that she, too, was sexually abused as a child.
Masha, who was adopted by another family, says she is speaking out now at the age of 13 “because I think that it’s wrong what he did. And this is happening so often now. And a lot of times nobody ever tells anybody. Some kids just give up. And they don’t have any faith.”
Recently Mancuso was sentenced to a minimum of 35 years in prison on top of 15 years from a federal conviction. He could face more time in Florida, including the death penalty, for the crimes he committed in a Disney World hotel room.
During the past month there was an organized effort by the international adoption phalanx to silence this story, and to deny and cover up the actions of the agencies which facilitated this adoption and Masha’s abuse. These “Cowards in Adoption” despise the truth, dismiss the victim and defend their entrenched pecuniary interests. Tomorrow they will start answering, both in the court of public opinion and ultimately in a court of law, for their reprobate acts, careless omissions and willful ignorance.
Tomorrow night’s shocking account is simply the first chapter of Masha’s unimaginable story.