One Child’s Unending Abuse – From Disney World Girl to Drifter

Relates to: Masha Allen (Mariya Nikolaevna Yashenkova)
Date: 2008-03-19

Lawyer: Young Internet child porn victim should be paid up to $100 million in damages for alleged mistreatment by Pa. child services and adoption system


Wednesday March 19, 2008

A lawyer who represented a young girl who was adopted from Russia by a Pennsylvania man and sexually abused and exploited for five years claims the girl’s new adoptive mother has physically abused and neglected her, including withholding important medical and psychiatric treatment that would help the young victim move forward in her life.

The attorney, James Marsh, of White Plains, New York, filed a notice of claim in the name of Masha Elizabeth Allen, demanding that Allegheny County, the county Office of Children, Youth and Family, the county Office of Human Services, the Families United Network, Inc., and various individuals associated with those groups, pay Masha up to $100 million in damages for placing her with her adoptive mother, known as Faith Allen. The notice of claim will preserve Masha’s right to sue the organizations and individuals any time until she is 21, according to Marsh.

According to the claim filing, which is dated Feb. 7, 2007, Faith Allen, also known as Lynn Ginn, subjected Masha to physical and mental abuse and failed to get her some form of consistent therapy. The blame, according to the filing, falls squarely on the shoulders of the institutions and organizations meant to protect Masha for not properly investigating Faith and her ability to be a mother to a sexually abused girl.

The institutions’ and individuals’ actions "have caused Masha substantial physical, psychological and emotional damage, as well as compensatory damages," the claim filing says. "The respondents …had a duty to Masha to reasonably investigate and supervise any potential adoptive home for her and to fully disclose to the court and other professionals any possible concerns prior to her adoption. The respondents had a professional responsibility to Masha to protect her physical, psychological and emotional best interests. Each of these duties was breached and violated, resulting in extensive ongoing damage to Masha."

Marsh declined to talk on the record about the claim notice. It’s important to remember in this case that Faith has accused Marsh of stalking and harassment, as is noted in an affidavit filed by Paulette "Skeet" Roy, a deputy in the Douglas County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office, in April, 2007.

In the middle of this storm is 15-year-old Masha, who has endured abuse and exploitation since her journey from a Russian orphanage to the home of a rabid pedophile in Pennsylvania.

Mariya Nikolaevna Yashenkova, known in the U.S. as Masha Elizabeth Allen, was five-years-old in 1998 when 41-year-old Matthew Mancuso adopted her from a Russian orphanage and brought her to his home in the small western Pennsylvania hamlet of Plum. Over the next five years, Mancuso sexually abused and exploited Masha, videotaping and photographing her in various stages of abuse, and posting the images on the internet to share with others members of an online community of pedophiles and child pornography fans. One series of photos showed Masha being abused in a hotel room that was later determined to be in a resort at Disney World in Florida, leading to Masha’s infamous moniker, the Disney World girl.[1]

Masha was rescued by the FBI in 2003 after an undercover online operation led to Mancuso’s arrest for sharing child pornography. Officers who arrested Mancuso at his home found Masha, who was severely undernourished. Mancuso reportedly forced Masha to eat only peanut butter sandwiches, and avoid vegetables and pasta, inorder to delay the onset of puberty. Mancuso was sentenced to 15 years on child pornography charges and 35 years to 70 years for his abuse of Masha. Masha was quickly placed with a foster parent, a young woman who went by the name Faith Elizabeth Allen. Faith eventually adopted Masha in 2004.

Masha gained national prominence after her rescue by appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN with then-host Nancy Grace to talk about her story. She was also the subject of a newspaper article in the LA Times. On May 10, 2006, Masha testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommitee on Oversight and Investigations about her experience. A law that bears her name, Masha’s Law, set stiffer penalties for downloading child pornography from the Internet.[2]; [3]

But behind the scenes, Masha was not doing so well. On Jan. 12, 2004, the Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Family, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and the Families United Network, Inc. filed a report that Masha was not completing homework and that her school thought she could do a better on tests if she studied harder. On April 1, 2004, the organizations filed a report that Masha’s mobile therapy had been discontinued and that she was being treated at an uncertified institution.

Faith officially adopted Masha in May, 2004, during which ceremony Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Cheryl Allen presided. Judge Allen had sheltered Faith after the troubled young woman graduated from a drug and alcohol abuse clinic. [4]

Judge Allen said in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article in 2004 that she was slightly concerned about Faith becoming a foster mother because of her past experiences, but her concerns were reportedly assuaged after she saw Faith with her foster children. "She has a deep capacity to love," Allen said in a 2004 article with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, written by Barbara White Stack. "If anything, my biggest concern now is that she wants to help everybody."

In December, 2004, Faith and Masha suddenly moved to Georgia. In March 2006, Masha expressed the desire to commit suicide. She was hospitalized at Summit Ridge Center for Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine in Lawrenceville, Ga. Summit Ridge recommended that Masha undergo extensive therapy, including a home therapeutic plan for Faith to follow. According to the claim notice obtained by Wikileaks, Masha received no mental health treatment of any kind between February 2006 and December 2006. Faith and Masha came under the supervision of the Georgia Department of Families and Children on or about Oct. 1, 2006.

Masha’s claim states that she has been subject to physical and mental abuse since she was first placed with Faith. She has received little or no mental health treatment and her basic medical needs have been neglected, despite the traumatic abuse she suffered at the hands of Mancuso. Masha has moved nine times since 2003 and attended five schools during that period.

It appears that Masha, who was placed by an adoption agency in New Jersey with Mancuso without subsequent follow up, has been failed a second time by the county and state services that are supposed to protect her. Faith was a questionable candidate to be the adoptive mother of an abused young girl. Masha’s leaked notice of claim reveals that at the time of Masha’s placement, the Families United Network had removed two children from Faith’s care because of alleged physical abuse. FUN had instructed its staff to not place any more children with Faith.

Also, Faith may or may not have been the victim of physical and sexual abuse as a young girl. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article said Faith had been physically abused by an alcoholic mother and sexually abused by her step-father. But Faith had also allegedly made up tales of membership in a Satanic cult and inflicted pain on herself for attention, according to a short testimonial written by Dr. Marion Spellman, founder, CEO and chairman of Peniel, located in Johnstown, Pa, a drug-and-alcohol treatment center from which Faith had graduated. The testimonial is no longer on Peniel’s website.

In 2004, Faith accused a member of her church, Potter’s House Ministries, of inappropriately touching her while she was in a hypnotic state. The trial against Charles Brown, a member of Potter’s House, took place after Faith had already adopted Masha. Faith had surreptitiously videotaped one of the hypnosis counseling sessions, during which Brown can be seen allegedly fondling Faith. But the judge presiding over the trial found that Faith appeared not to be in a hypnotic state and was conversing with Brown. Brown’s attorney also brought in witnesses who testified that Faith had shown the videotape to various members of the church, including a minor, before she took it to police. One witness, Marie Johnson, testified that Faith showed her the videotape, laughed while the two viewed it, and told Johnson she wanted to make Brown her boyfriend. Brown was found not guilty of indecent assault.

At this time, Masha remains with Faith and appears unable to get the care and treatment she needs to move beyond her traumatic past. Masha’s claim notice states that the proper authorities, the county Office of Children, Youth and Family, the county Office of Human Services, the Families United Network, Inc., and various individuals associated with those groups, failed to adequately monitor Masha’s placement with Faith and failed to adequately investigate Faith as an appropriate foster parent.

It should be noted that the mainstream media never questioned Masha’s placement with Faith in various articles and broadcasts.



No Replies to "One Child's Unending Abuse - From Disney World Girl to Drifter"