Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 28th 2013 Contents A36
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, August 28, 2013
PHILADELPHIA---A child pornography victim
from Pennsylvania is using a law that carries her
name to seek at least US$150,000 each from her
father, 13 other jailed men and anyone else who
viewed explicit images of her.
"Masha's Law" is named for Masha Allen, a Russian
orphan adopted at age five by divorced Pittsburgh-
area millionaire Matthew Mancuso. He's in prison
for making and posting about 200 sexually explicit
images of her that authorities believe have been
viewed millions of times online.
The FBI sought the identity of the child known
as the "Internet Girl" or "Disney World Girl" and
located Masha in 2003, when she was 10. She is now
20 and has changed her name to regain some measure
of privacy after testifying in Congress.
"Why didn't anyone ever check up on me?" she
asked during her testimony before a House Energy
and Commerce subcommittee, according to a tran-
Her class-action lawsuit, filed Friday in Philadelphia
under the name Jane Doe, targets doctors and other
professionals like Mancuso who have assets that
could be seized. All of the named defendants are in
prison for exploiting her. They come from towns
across the U.S., including Stonington, Conn.; Port
St. Lucy, Fla.; and Olympia, Wash. The Philadelphia
Inquirer first reported on the lawsuit yesterday.
"Scarred by years of brutal exploitation, she must
now also bear the humiliating knowledge that untold
numbers of men...continue to take sadistic pleasure
in viewing and distributing graphic visual depiction
of her pain and degradation," the lawsuit said.
On any given day, that could include the man
standing behind her in line at the grocery store, the
More than 2,300 people have been indicted by the
Justice Department for viewing Masha's images alone.
She is notified each time the list grows.
"If you get down into the court files, and start
reading about the images that these people were
downloading and viewing for their pleasure, it's
frightening and depressing," said Leighton Moore,
an Atlanta lawyer who represents the young woman.
"Some of them are day care workers. Some of them
are policemen, firefighters."
About a dozen lawsuits have been filed under the
2006 law, but Moore is the first to seek class-action
certification, so that his client does not have to endure
serial litigation. Some of those cases have ended with
judgments, but Moore did not know if any victims
have been able to collect.
He declined to discuss how his client is doing or
whether she is in school or working.
"You can imagine the kind of experiences that
she's been through leaves some scars," he said.
Mancuso, an engineer in his mid-40s, had sought
to adopt a girl between the ages of five and six,
explaining that he wanted to make up for his strained
relationship with his teenage daughter, according to
the Congressional hearing transcript. He then repeat-
edly raped and sexually abused Masha on camera,
sometimes during trips to Disney World.
Mancuso, who lived in Plum, is serving a 15-year
federal sentence for child pornography. He also faces
a state sentence for child rape and incest when he
leaves federal prison.
According to the 2006 Congressional hearing, a
social worker sent Russian officials a report after the
adoption describing Mancuso's home as warm and
loving, all based on a phone interview. The Somerdale,
NJ, woman whose adoption agency placed her with
Mancuso told the Congressional panel that in-home
checks were then voluntary on Mancuso's part. (AP)
Photojournalists, with black bands
around their mouth, participate in a
protest against the gang rape of a
photojournalist in Mumbai, in Gauhati,
India, Saturday. Police on Saturday
arrested a second man and said they
had enough evidence to prosecute
those responsible for a crime that has
renewed public outcry over sexual
violence in the country. The victim, a
22-year-old Indian woman, remained
in a hospital Saturday and was
recovering well after being repeatedly
raped by five men Thursday night in a
deserted textile mill, said Mumbai's
police commissioner, Satyapal Singh.
GANG RAPE PROTEST
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