Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mirah Riben on Revictimizing the Victim

The following is an essay by fellow flea Mirah Riben about the continued victimization of Masha Allen. Poor adoption practice does not result in a one time injury, but sets up a situation in which children continue to be hurt emotionally, physically, relationally, and psychologically for years to come. In some cases poor adoption practice makes children vulnerable to continuing exploitation for years and decades to come....even for a lifetime.

Please read Mirah's essay and join us in trying to fight this continued exploitation of one adoptee whose nightmare began with poor adoption practice....and never seems to end...by writing to Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble and expressing your outrage.

If enough people care enough to write, perhaps this ugly chapter in this adoptee's exploitation can be shortened.


Revictimizing the Victim

by Mirah Riben

Imagine at the age of five leaving everything you've ever known and
coming to a new country, with a totally different language, all
alone. You are told you will have a new family to love and care for
you and instead, you discover on your very first night that you
don't even have your won room or even your own bed but are expected
to share a bed with a 46-year-old pedophile who will rape you
repeatedly at will for years on end. Afraid to ask for help, you
wait and wait for someone to come to check up on you and take you
from this nightmare of abuse. Post-placement supervision is required
in Pennsylvania, where Masha lived with Mancuso, but only for
domestic adoptions from foster care. However, no such law exists for
international placement in violation of Russian regulations for post-
placement visits and reports.

The international trafficking and sale of this little girl,
Masha, to pedophile pornographer Matthew Mancuso goes under the
heading a legal US adoption. Mancuso, a retired engineer from Plum,
Pennsylvania, found his victim, Masha through an adoption agency in
Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Mancuso requested a five- or six-year-old,
blonde, blue-eyed girl and picked Masha from videotapes the agency
sent him.
Jeannene Smith handled Masha's adoption through an Indiana-based
agency called Families Thru International Adoption (FTIA). Fired by
FTIA midway through the process, Smith went to New Jersey and
founded another agency, Reaching Out Thru International Adoption
(ROTIA), which finished the adoption and was supposed to do post-
placement checks as required by Russian law.
No one associated with the agencies in either Indiana or New
Jersey conducted a home study that would have revealed no room
awaiting the child he planned to "adopt." Nor did anyone at either
agency interview Mancuso's former wife, or his daughter, who alleges
that he molested her. Smith has since co-founded a lobbying group
called Focus on Adoption, which lobbies on behalf of agencies that
facilitate international adoptions. She has not commented on the
case publicly, citing confidentiality laws.
Masha is not the only child to be trafficked and sold to a
pedophile through a US adoption agency. William (Bill) D.
Peckenpaugh, from Marion County, Oregon, traveled to Romania to
adopt a nine-year-old boy in 2001 through Tree of Life Adoption
Center of Portland, Oregon.
Peckenpaugh, who claimed to be a Catholic bishop, was a member
of the American Association for Nude Recreation. He is also the
author of "Familial and Societal Attitudes toward Nudity, and the
Effects on Children's Development," an article quoted by nudists and
naturists alleging that naturist children are less sexually active
and more emotionally healthy than non-naturist children.
As with Masha, the crime was discovered only after a sexually
graphic video was found in a camera that had been returned to an
electronics store. Peckenpaugh pleaded guilty to a total of thirty-
three charges, including first-degree sodomy, two counts of sex
abuse, and one count of using a child for the purpose of sexual
display, and was sentenced in 2005 to thirty years in prison. Darin
Tweedt of the Marion County D.A.'s office called the Romanian boy's
tragic journey from an East European orphanage to a life of sex
abuse in Marion County "off the charts."

Masha was rescued in an FBI sting porn sting that had followed
pictures of on the Internet for years. At thirteen years of age,
with pictures of her still online, she had the courage to go public,
in an effort to urge abused children to tell someone. Masha worked
with lawmakers to forge a bill known as "Masha's Law." The bill was
introduced by John F. Kerry (D-MA) in recognition of the fact that
child pornography "prolongs the child abuse indefinitely—long after
the child is rescued." The bill has passed but the abuse lingers
on. "My pictures that are on the Internet disturb me more than what
Matthew did because I know that the abuse stopped but those pictures
are still on the Internet" Masha said in a Prime Time Live
interview, January 2006.

Another victim of childhood sexual abuse from stepfather would
up a 70-pound anorexic at age 21. She found her way through
charitable organizations, she found her way to Judge Cheryl Allen of
Pennsylvania who took her into her home and helped her get
rehabilitation, a job, then within three years approval as a foster
parent. The grateful woman took the name Faith Elezabeth Allen.
The third child given to Faith Allen to foster was none other
than Masha, then 11-years-old. Judge Allen thinking the two could
help heal one another's sexual abuses, finalized the adoption and
Masha became Mea (Masha Elizabeth Allen) Allen.
But this tale of abuse does not end here with happily-ever-after.
Masha aka Mea Allen is yet to be raped abused all over again by
one Peter Stotis, a writer of sadistic and pedophilic sexual
impulses in their many, often hidden, guises. Often using first
person narratives, his prose takes on the point of view of the
sexual predator. Sotos's newest book, Show Adult, composed of two
film-scripts, the first about editing and content, the second
concerned with acting, direction, and instructions/vanity. Sotos,
who considers Masha Allen "a child porn star," reportedly devotes a
large portion of the book to her past, present and future

Masha is the only living victim of child pornography Sotos has
written about. The author is silent about whether or not he obtained
the legal rights to Masha's story or the use of her name and
likeness in advertising the book. Such unauthorized use is illegal
under the New York Civil Rights law which permits an injunction on
publication and monetary damages.

As of this writing, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com are both—
incredibly—taking pre-publication orders for the book which profits
from and continued the sexploitation of innocent victims.
We need to stop the spread of child pornography and we need to
create regulations to ensure that no child is sold as a sex slave
through the process of adoption in this country.

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or
congress people:
Boycott "Show Adult" and tell Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble to cease
sales of the book

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional
reps and local newspapers


Author of "shedding light on...The Dark Side of Adoption" (1988)
and "The Stork Market: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated
Adoptuion Industry" (2007) www.AdvocatePublciations.org

MIRAH (aka Marsha) RIBEN has been researching, writing and speaking
about the need to reform, humanize, and de-commercialize American
adoption practices for nearly three decades.

Former Director-at-Large of the American Adoption Congress, is co-
founder of Origins, a New Jersey-based national organization for
women who have lost children to adoption.


  1. The author of "Show Adult" is Peter Sotos, not Stotis.

  2. Thanks for the correction. I have corrected this in the essay.

    Unfortunately, since I posted Mirah's essay, several other inaccuracies have come to light:

    1) According to Faith Allen, adoptive mother of Masha Allen (who wrote to me privately), Masha was Faith's fifth foster child, NOT her third.

    2) The statement that Jeannene Smith has not yet made a public statement about her (Jeannene's) part in Masha Allen's adoption by pedophile Matthew Mancuso, is incorrect. Jeannene was in fact called before a US Congressional committee where she was forced to make public statements in response to committee questions. The transcript of her public statement is available online at:



  3. Oops, that link didn't come through. I'll try it again.


  4. Well, goodness, it just is NOT going to come through.

    So anyway, to get to the link go to my blogpost of February 27, 2007, "Masha Allen Congressional Transcripts Available." You can find it by clicking on the subject label "sexual abuse" in the bar on the right side of my blog.


  5. Hi there,

    I was directed to your blog after reading the Adoption Series at NPR.org. As an adoptee, I was horrified to read what pedophiles will do to acquire a child. I had not connected the link between pedophiles and adoption... the thought never occurred to me! I have a blog on blogger as well, and have directed people to this blog for more information.