Team 4: Girl In Disney Abuse Pics Speaks Out

Date: 2005-05-25

Team 4: Girl In Disney Abuse Pics Speaks Out

A young girl who was sexually abused by her adoptive father is criticizing the Allegheny County district attorney for moving too slowly to bring him to justice.

The following report by Team 4's Paul Van Osdol first aired May 25, 2005, on Channel 4 Action News at 5 p.m.

The girl became the focus of an international search during the last few weeks.

Last month, Canadian authorities released photos taken by her abuser at a Disney World hotel and other places in a desperate attempt to find her. It turns out that she was safe, living with a newly adoptive mother.

Her adoptive father, Mathew Alan Mancuso, was convicted of federal porn charges last year. He still has not gone to trial on state rape charges, and that's upsetting the girl and her mother.

Now living with her newly adoptive mother, the girl is hundreds of miles from the house in Plum where police say Mancuso sexually abused her repeatedly for years.

The adoptive mother, Faith, says the abuse started as soon as Mancuso adopted the girl in Russia.

Faith: "She knew it wasn't normal, but she was scared. He told her no one would believe her, or there was just no way out of it."

Mancuso took sexually explicit photos of his adopted daughter at Disney World hotels and even on elevators. Police confiscated a computer disc with more than 500 photos. Many of them ended up on the Internet.

Faith: "She's scarred for life and her pictures are on the Internet and they can't be stopped. There's no way of stopping them completely. How do you tell a 12-year-old her pictures are all over the Internet?"

Last year, Mancuso was convicted of federal porn charges and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was arrested on state rape and assault charges, but Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala has still not tried him.

Abuse victim: "I think it's wrong how he didn't get charged with half the stuff he did, and I don't think that should happen to anybody."

Faith: "They made a decision in Pennsylvania that my daughter wasn't ready to testify. How are they going to make that decision? They didn't ask her. They didn't ask me. They just made a decision."

Late Wednesday afternoon, a Zappala spokesman blamed county police for delays in prosecuting the case. Team 4 was unable to reach county police Superintendent Charles Moffatt for comment.

While locals point fingers, law enforcement officials in Florida are aggressively pursuing the case. The district attorney in Orlando says he wants to make sure Mancuso spends the rest of his life in prison.


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