Matthew Mancuso, age 49, a retired engineer, pleaded guilty on sexual battery charges of a child under 12 for his involvement in child molestation. Mancuso locked in a plea deal only minutes before the case was to go to trial before Orange County Circuit Court Judge Bob LeBlanc.
Mancuso took pictures of the sex acts with the child. Some of the photographs were taken during two visits to Walt Disney World. The first was to the Contemporary Resort in 2000. The second was to the Port Orleans Resort in 2001.
Offering toys, gifts and trips to Disneyworld or Disneyland is a common tactic of pedophiles. It should be a red flag to any parent, when a male relative, friend or neighbor offers such a trip for your child.
Mancuso initially faced eight counts of capital sexual battery and life in prison but pleaded guilty in exchange for the reduced sentence. He will serve his sentence after completing a 15-and-a-half-year federal sentence plus a 35-year sentence on charges in Pennsylvania.
The victim, Masha Allen. only 13 years old told her story. She was born in 1992 in Novoshakhtinsk, a small town near Rostov-on-Don, Russia, to an alcoholic mother and a father she never knew. Her own mother tried to kill her when she was only 4 years old by stabbing her in the back of the neck with a kitchen knife. Soon after the incident Masha was sent to a Russian orphanage where she awaited adoption.
Matthew Mancuso, a divorced father in Plum, Pennsylvania, was looking for a little girl to adopt in 1998. He contacted a New Jersey adoption agency requesting information on 5-year-old Caucasian girls, and chose the victim from a videotape.
After months of waiting, Mancuso traveled to Russia to meet his new daughter. He visited Masha several times at the orphanage, took her to nice dinners, and bought her candy.
An American adoption agency completed the adoption in Russia. New-Jersey-based Reaching Out through International Adoption (ROTIA) had limited involvement in providing travel assistance to Mancuso prior to finalization. Pittsburgh-based Family Adoption Council, Inc. completed the home study on Mancuso and issued a letter to Russian officials agreeing to provide post-placement reporting for a minimum of three years.
The adoption agency failed to do a background check on Mancuso. No phone calls were made to his ex-wife or to his biological daughter, Rachelle. Manucuso had sexually abused Rachelle regularly and had had no contact with her since she was 13, and Rachelle says she would have told anyone who had asked about it.
Mancuso did not have a previous criminal record as a sex offender. The odd thing though is single men are very rarely allowed to adopt unrelated girls. Yet, this adoption went through without a glitch.
When the girl arrived in the U.S. she learned she would be sleeping in the same bed as Mancuso, without a room of her own. The first night in America, he sexually assaulted the child, which continued every night there after.
The child was forced to live as sex slave with Mancuso, while he created kiddie porn from their acts, which he then posted on the internet. The details of their daily life together was horrific.
FBI agents arrested Mancuso at his house in 2003. Mike Zaglifa, a police sergeant in the Chicago suburb of Palos Heights, had given Mancuso's IP address to them after going undercover and trading pictures with Mancuso online.
November 14, 2007 he was sentenced in Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) Common Pleas court to another to 35-70 years state time on 11 counts: rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, unlawful restraint, incest, corruption of a minor, child endangering, and 2 charges each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and indecent assault of a child under age 13.
On January 6, 2006, Allen appeared in Boston with Democratic U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry at a news conference to draw attention to "Masha's Law," a bill he had introduced after hearing of her case. It would triple the penalties for those who download child pornography from the Internet.
Previously, Kerry noted, they had been less severe than the penalties for downloading unlicensed music files. The law would also allow children used in such images to sue those who downloaded them once they reached adulthood.