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Plum man convicted of child sex abuse


Plum man convicted of child sex abuse

By Glenn May


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

It only took a half-hour Tuesday to convict a former Plum man for the sexual abuse he inflicted on his adopted daughter for five years.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel convicted Matthew Alan Mancuso, 47, of 11 charges -- including child rape and incest -- after hearing a brief outline of how the former Shearer Road resident adopted a 5-year-old girl from a Russian orphanage in 1998 and abused her until his arrest in a 2003 FBI raid.

The case triggered an international search in April after Canadian police appealed to the public for tips on the identity of a girl appearing in 200 sexualIy explicit Internet photos, including more than a dozen of them taken in a Walt Disney World hotel room in Orlando, Fla.

It turned out the girl, now 12, had already been rescued and placed in foster care, and Mancuso was in prison serving a 15-year sentence on federal child pornography charges.

Deputy District Attorney Laura Ditka described in the nonjury trial how Mancuso slept naked with the girl the night he brought her home and photographed numerous sex acts, distributing the pictures via the Internet.

Ditka said she limited the amount of evidence she introduced, including withholding photographs, to minimize additional trauma for the victim.

The girl appeared in court to hear the verdict and confidently summoned McDaniel back into the courtroom after the trial to thank her.

Mancuso deliberately underfed the girl, who weighed only 52 pounds when rescued, Ditka said. He said nothing during his trial and did not look at his victim.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Defense Attorney Stephen J. Greenfield said after the ruling that he will appeal because it amounts to a second trial for the same actions for which his client was already convicted in federal court in 2003.

"This is a subsequent prosecution for the same facts," Greenfield said.

Mancuso faces up to 140 years in jail on the state charges, which carry four separate mandatory minimum sentences of five years each.

Mancuso was also convicted of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault on a child, unlawful restraint, corruption of a minor, indecent assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 17.

Glenn May can be reached at gmay@tribweb.com or 412-391-8650.

2005 Aug 24