YOUNG VICTIM PUTS FACE ON ABUSE

Date: 2008-01-07

TEEN SPEAKS OUT AGAINST PURVEYORS, VIEWERS OF PORN

DAVID ASHENFELTER
Detroit Free Press

Unlike many cases of child pornography, the 2006 conviction of an Oakland County man brought with it the name and reaction of a victim.

Matthew Mancuso, a millionaire divorcee from suburban Pittsburgh, adopted 5-year-old Masha Allen from a Russian orphanage in 1998. Over the next five years, he repeatedly raped and abused her and posted sexually graphic photos of her on the Internet.

Federal agents found her in 2003 when they raided his home in a child pornography sting. Mancuso, now 49, is serving 35 years in prison for rape and incest.

Since her rescue, Masha, now 14, has testified about her ordeal in Congress and discussed it openly in national TV interviews. She also has provided victim impact statements at sentencing hearings for people like Robert Kent, 57, of Royal Oak, who pleaded guilty in March 2006 to possession of child pornography after federal agents found more than 12,000 images, including some of Masha, in a raid of his home.

Although prosecutors didn't reveal Masha's name, her identity and face became public through the national interviews.

"The absolute worst thing about everything that happened to me was that Matthew put my pictures on the Internet," Masha said in her victim's statement against Mancuso. "He traded them with other people like baseball cards. ...

"How can so many people enjoy the horrible things that happened to me?

"I know that these pictures will never end and that the abuse from them will go on forever. ...

"I want every single person who downloads my picture to go to jail and really be punished as much as possible. They are as bad as Matthew. ...

"Child pornography is not a victimless crime. I am a victim, and I still suffer everyday and every time someone sees me being abused," Masha wrote.

Kent, who had served prison time for molesting the young daughters of a former girlfriend, was sentenced in April to 10 years in prison.

Masha, through her adoptive foster mother, declined to be interviewed for this story.

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