Child porn victim's pain heard in court

Date: 2006-06-03

13-year-old's message read at sentencing of Cortland man
Nancy Dooling
Press & Sun-Bulletin

BINGHAMTON A 13-year-old victim of child pornography had her say Friday at the sentencing of a Cortland businessman who admitted to possessing child pornography and having sex with underage girls in foreign countries.

David J. Falso, 64, will spend 30 years in federal prison for his crimes, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. McAvoy said.

Masha Allen, 13, will suffer as long as there is an image of her being raped, violated and abused on the Internet, she said in a surprise e-mail she sent Thursday to federal prosecutors in Binghamton.

An image of Masha was among the 200 images of child pornography investigators found in Falso's Cortland home last year. Masha was contacted as a victim of Falso's crime as a matter of routine, Assistant U.S. Attorney MiroslavLovric said.

But prosecutors didn't expect to hear from her personally. The teenager's letter was read into the court record Friday, Lovric said. "The criminal goes to prison when the abuse ends," Masha wrote in her e-mail. "On the Internet, the abuse is still going on."

Masha's images have flooded the Internet on child pornography sites worldwide, where she's known as the "Internet Girl." Last month, she testified before the U.S. Congress as a victim of the illegal trade of child pornography and its abuses on the Internet.

Adopted as a 5-year-old from a Russian orphanage by Michael Mancuso, a wealthy man from Pittsburgh, Masha was starved and sexually abused while her adoptive father took photographs for the Internet.

The sexual abuse ended when she was 10 and when Mancuso was arrested. He'll likely spend his life behind bars, prosecutors said. Masha has been adopted by a family in Georgia, but has become a crusader against the child pornography trade, going public with her experiences.

"It is not a victimless crime," the teenager wrote in her e-mail.

Falso was indicted on a 244-count indictment in Binghamton's federal court a year ago.

FBI agents, using a search warrant, seized boxes of images and photographs of child pornography, as well as Falso's computer, from Falso's home last year. He pleaded guilty to the indictment in February.

Some of the images depicted pre-pubescent children and children engaged in sadistic or masochistic sexual acts, Lovric said.

ndooling@pressconnects.com

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