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Sit-Down With A Molestation Survivor;
Aired January 18, 2006 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, a prime-time live exclusive. In all my years of criminal law, I`ve never seen anything like it.
She was raised with nothing in an obscure Russian orphanage, abandoned by her own mother. But then, suddenly, an adoptive father comes to the rescue.
Tonight, the story of a little girl adopted through a legitimate U.S. adoption agency to an American pedophile. From ages 5 to 10, she endured nightly molestation, and then being photographed by her adoptive father, making her one of the most popular child porn stars on the Internet. But this story doesn`t end in tragedy.
Tonight, the miracle girl who beat the odds. The little girl who survived is with us live.
Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace.
I want to thank you for being with us tonight.
Tonight, an unprecedented live exclusive with a child who has shown more courage in her short life than most of us show in a lifetime. Abandoned by her own mother, she escaped a Russian orphanage, where she kept all her worldly possessions under her pillow, to America.
Yes, she was adopted by an American -- an American pedophile. For five years, she lived through torture, starting at age 5. Horrible child porn of this little child plastered on the Internet.
Tonight, the American adoption agency that let it happen, the detective who never gave up, and the little girl who is no longer an anonymous face on the Internet porn sites. It`s a story of survival of Masha Allen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Based upon all the evidence that we had seen, it does appear that the adoption was motivated by the defendant`s interest in sexual activity, illegal sexual activity with children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once you`ve seen the images and you`ve seen the collection, this -- this set of pictures is, it breaks your heart.
MASHA ALLEN, CHILD PORNOGRAPHY SURVIVOR: 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.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel so much guilt for what happened. When I first found out that he adopted a little girl, I should have spoke up. I should have said something. I feel somewhat responsible.
GRACE: Tonight, with us here in our Headline News studio, Masha.
Thank you for being with us.
ALLEN: Thank you.
GRACE: I know you. But you don`t know me. But I have known about you for a really long time.
We have all been looking for you, trying to find you, along with the detectives and the police all over the world. And now here you are.
I want to start at the beginning. What was it like? Most of us don`t understand what it was like to grow up in a Russian orphanage.
ALLEN: It was hard. Like, to me, it seemed like it was dark. You couldn`t trust anybody. You didn`t really have any of your own possessions.
GRACE: And it broke my heart when I learned you put all your possessions under your pillow every night.
ALLEN: If you didn`t, they`d steal them or -- like, just a bad place to be.
GRACE: Did you think your mom, your mother was going to come get you?
ALLEN: She did visit me a couple times and said that she would come get me. But I waited and she never came. So eventually I just gave up hope that she would come and get me.
GRACE: When did you find out you had a family coming get you?
ALLEN: I was listening to the older people talking and they were saying names of children that were going to be adopted or that were going to leave, and they said my name. And I was excited. And I didn`t really know what to think because I was confused. So I went and told all my friends there, told everybody there.
GRACE: You went and told your friends what?
ALLEN: That I was going to leave.
GRACE: Were you happy?
ALLEN: Yes, I was.
GRACE: What did you think it was going to be like?
ALLEN: Everybody there said it was going to be a great place, that I would get my own room and I`d get a mother and a father and a family and they would be all nice and happy.
GRACE: Did you know you were coming to America?
ALLEN: No. Not at the time.
GRACE: How did you find out you were coming to America?
ALLEN: I think Matthew told me. The second time he came...
GRACE: OK. Who is Matthew?
ALLEN: Matthew is the person that adopted me from Russia.
GRACE: Your adopted dad?
ALLEN: Yes. My adopted father.
GRACE: He told you what now?
ALLEN: He told me that I was going to the United States.
GRACE: So the first time you saw him was when, when he took you home?
ALLEN: No. He visited a couple times.
GRACE: Do you recall the day you went home, you flew home to America?
ALLEN: It was kind of a blur, but I don`t remember -- like, I don`t remember anything early in the day. I remember leaving the orphanage.. And -- well, this was before we left, but we went to his friend Sergei`s (ph) house and stayed for about a month there.
ALLEN: The day we left, we took two planes to...
GRACE: Did you -- were you -- what did you think when you found out you weren`t going to have a mommy?
ALLEN: I did ask him. And he said he wasn`t married. And I was sad, and I thought that was just natural to have a mother because I had a mother that abused me, and still I had a mother. And just -- it was sad.
GRACE: You said even though your Russian mom abused you, you still had a mother. But then -- now you wouldn`t have one at all.
Did that make you sad or were you just happy to be adopted?
ALLEN: I was sad, but at the same time, I was -- I thought I shouldn`t be sad over that. I should just be grateful that I`m adopted.
GRACE: So when you came to America with your new father, what happened when you first got home?
ALLEN: He took me home and we ate and he showed me around the house. And I didn`t have a bedroom. And kids at the orphanage said I`d get my own room. And I was shocked. I didn`t have my own bed.
GRACE: Did you ask him?
ALLEN: I did. And he said that -- he didn`t really give me a straight answer. He just said that I wasn`t going to need a bed. I felt...
GRACE: Where did you end up sleeping?
ALLEN: I slept with him.
GRACE: OK. Masha, do you recall your first night in your new home?
ALLEN: Yes. It was really hard. I couldn`t get to sleep because he tried to touch me or tried to do something to me.
GRACE: What was he trying to do?
ALLEN: Trying to touch me. It didn`t get really worse until after a couple of nights. And so it just kept getting worse, and it was hard because I wasn`t getting a lot of sleep. And, like, after the first night, I knew that it wasn`t going to be all that great.
GRACE: Did your adopted father molest you?
GRACE: What happened?
ALLEN: He`d touched me or touched my private parts or make me touch his private parts or...
GRACE: Did you ever tell anybody?
ALLEN: No. I never told anybody.
GRACE: Did Mancuso, your adopted father, have sex with you?
GRACE: And how old were you when that started?
ALLEN: When I was 5 or 6.
GRACE: And how long did that happen?
ALLEN: For the five years I was with him.
GRACE: Did you ever tell anybody?
ALLEN: No. He threatened me. He`d tell me not to tell anybody, or he would say something bad would happen. But he never told me what he would do.
And so, like, I`d be close to telling somebody, but then I`d always not because I`d get afraid of what might happen.
GRACE: What would he give you to eat, Masha?
ALLEN: I had, like, strict diet. I ate peanut butter sandwiches, I didn`t eat cooked vegetables, not a lot of meat. I didn`t eat that much junk food or candy.
GRACE: Do you know why he didn`t feed you enough?
ALLEN: I do now, but at the time he said I was too fat and that I should stop eating as much as I was.
GRACE: You said you do now. Why do you believe now that Mancuso, your adopted father, did not feed you enough?
ALLEN: Well, now, I, like -- a lot of my friends told me that I was really skinny. And now that, like, I actually eat enough, I understand that it`s OK to eat until you`re actually full. And it`s OK to eat the foods that you want eat. And you don`t have to be afraid to get what you want to eat. So...
GRACE: Masha, do you remember -- do you have your first recollection of when Mancuso would take pictures of you without your clothes on?
ALLEN: At first it was with my clothes on, but then he`d take me -- he`d tell me to take my top off and just be in my underwear. And then it gradually got worse and I was naked. And...
GRACE: Baby, how old were you when this was happening?
GRACE: When you think now -- and I want to tell you, you`re one of the bravest people I`ve ever met.
ALLEN: Thank you.
GRACE: When you think that pictures of you went out on the Internet, you must be furious.
ALLEN: I think it`s really wrong. And I kind of thought that I was stupid for not figuring it out earlier. But...
GRACE: But you know better than that, right?
Joining me right now is a very special guest joining us out of Washington, D.C.
Elizabeth, do I have Senator Isakson?
Senator Johnny Isakson is from my home jurisdiction of Georgia.
Sir, thank you for being with us.
When you hear Masha speak out, how does it make you feel? And what are you doing about it?
SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON (R), GEORGIA : Well, it makes me feel, Nancy, exactly like you are. It breaks my heart.
And I`m on tonight because Senator Kerry, who was the original sponsor of this legislation, is still in the Middle East. But John came to me and shared with me Masha`s story, the fact that she was a resident in Georgia, and asked me to join with him in a bipartisan effort to bring about some changes.
Nancy, unbeknownst to me, and I think millions of Americans, it was a worse penalty to download music on the Internet illegally than to download child pornography. And what Senator Kerry`s introduced and I`ve co-sponsored with him is legislation to triple the minimum that an individual victim can recover against someone who downloads these pictures on the Internet.
Secondly, it would have been illegal for someone who was violated and whose pictures were used to sue for any damages after they reached the age of majority because of the way the law was worded. So we have lifted that sanction to ensure that even if they go to the age of majority, if it`s learned who they are, and those pictures on the Internet, they can sue and they can recover.
It`s just a small effort to try to see to it that those victims of this horrible, heinous-type of crime can in some way be compensated and those who violate them can somehow be punished.
GRACE: Mr. Isakson, a lot of America really doesn`t know what to make of politicians. Many of us have a bad taste in our mouths. But I have got to tell you, sir, what you and Senator Kerry are doing really restores our faith that someone, one person like Masha can make a difference thanks to you and Senator Kerry.
Everyone, tonight, with us, Senator Johnny Isakson, who has drafted along with Kerry and is pushing through Masha`s Law.
Elizabeth, could you roll that sound of our Toronto police officer?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s horrific abuse of a very young, vulnerable, child. And you just -- once you have seen the images and you`ve seen the collection that this -- this -- this set of pictures is, it really breaks your heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Here in the studio with me also tonight is another special guest, an adoption lobbyist. She`s a child advocate.
With me is Maureen Flatley.
Maureen, you have been on this case from the get-go. And I was especially galled when I learned what type of child Mancuso asked to adopt.
MAUREEN FLATLEY, ADOPTION LOBBYIST, CHILD ADVOCATE: Well, he specifically asked for a blond-haired, blue-eyed 5-year-old girl.
GRACE: It`s my understanding he asked for a Caucasian child, blond hair, blue-eyed. He was willing to consider a child with disabilities. Also, willing to take a child diagnosed with learning disabilities.
What do you make of him, Maureen?
FLATLEY: Well, I think it`s very clear that he was specially ordering a sex slave. And I think that, in fact, the very serious mistake he made is he ended up with Masha, who is a child of enormous intellect and not someone who was going to be victimized without fighting back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: What does it tell you about Washington`s misplaced priorities that the penalty for downloading songs off the Internet is three times what the penalty is for downloading pornography, child pornography?
It`s wrong, obviously, that we have tougher penalties for downloading music than that we do for the abuse of our children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Tonight, detectives in Orange County, Florida, want your help to identify a young girl they call a material witness in a child pornography case. They want to identify a girl seen in a series of sexually explicit photos taken at Walt Disney World and other locations.
The pictures have circulated over the Internet for the past three years. Where is this girl?
Authorities offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the girl. As part of the search, detectives released photos of a different girl whom they do not think was sexually exploited, but this photo is of interest because the backgrounds in the photos are incredibly similar.
If you have any information, please, call the Orange County Police, 1-866- 635-4357.
GRACE: Tonight, a happy ending to one story that started off horribly wrong. This girl, the victim of over 200 sexually explicit photos on the Internet, we believe, is in foster care tonight. The alleged perpetrator behind bars.
And tonight, I`m looking for the mother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. That girl here in he studio with us.
The mother that put her up for adoption and abandoned her in Russia -- tonight, with her is her new adoptive mother, Faith (ph). And they`re living here in the United States.
So, the end of the story hasn`t really come yet. Masha tells me she wants to be a graphic designer, wants to go to school, and wants to bring her attacker to justice.
Straight out to detective Constable Bill McGarry, the lead investigator on this case for over two years.
Why did you become so obsessed with solving this case?
DET. CONSTABLE BILL MCGARRY, LEAD INVESTIGATOR ON CASE: Well, Nancy, Masha, she`s not unlike any other child. She`s indicative of -- she could be anybody`s child.
To see these photographs of her, some over 200 images of her in some of the worst sexually abusive situations that you can imagine, it`s just soul- destroying. And you can`t not look at her eyes in these images and not want to do something.
GRACE: How did you go about -- and I remember we were trying to help you in your search. How did you go about figuring out where these photos were taken?
MCGARRY: Well, each one of the images -- you`ve heard the saying a picture tells a thousand words. Well in the backgrounds of these images, there are things that we`ve learned that we can identify and try to trace at certain geographic locations. And we`ve had lots of help.
And it`s almost like this wasn`t a case of finding a needle in a haystack. This was a whole hay field. And we just went through each haystack one at a time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you have to hurt them to realize that this is your problem. Not a baby`s. That these are human beings who have histories, that have personalities, that have potential that you can never imagine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a way to remember your child.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Her perpetrator, her adopted father, American pedophile, living the good life here in a mental facility, Devons (ph) Prison Hospital.
Let`s see that menu, Elizabeth. What`s Mancuso got tonight? Baked chicken, rice and green beans.
You know, I`m going to relish the thought of Mancuso having a little baked chicken and canned green beans tonight. But what I don`t understand, Kevin Rothstein, reporter, "Boston Herald," is why this guy is in a cushy medical center.
I mean, have you seen this place? It`s got basketball courts, it`s got a park. The inside looks pretty good. It`s not a jail. This guy is not insane, Kevin.
KEVIN ROTHSTEIN, "BOSTON HERALD": He`s -- no, he is not insane. He is in a federal medical center that also houses a program for sexual offenders. He`s not in the hospital program where the insane and the physically ill go. But he is -- as you said, he`s not in a penitentiary, and that`s causing some people to take a second look, including senators Isakson and Kerry.
GRACE: Well, I don`t understand how a guy -- first of all, what -- what is he convicted of?
ROTHSTEIN: He`s serving a federal sentence for child pornography-related offenses. They are not abuse offenses, although he does have a sentence waiting for him when he finished his federal time on Pennsylvania charges of rape and incest. And that sentence will begin when he`s released from Devons (ph).
GRACE: What I don`t understand, why he is in a prison hospital and not a regular facility.
Do you know that, Kevin Rothstein?
ROTHSTEIN: Well, there`s a lot of questions being raised about that right now. The...
GRACE: I`ve got a lot of questions about that myself. It`s not as if this guy pled incompetency or insanity. He pled nolo -- nolo contender. He didn`t even have the guts to say "guilty."
ROTHSTEIN: He -- I think the reason that he is there is that the Federal Bureau of Prisons decided that there`s where he belonged, in this federal sex offender management program.
GRACE: Kevin, how did he come to adopt Masha?
ROTHSTEIN: Well, there`s -- I think it`s safe to say there were a lot of checks that were supposed to stand in his way from -- that weren`t checked. There`s a lot of questions...
GRACE: Weren`t checked? It`s my understanding the adoption agency, Maureen Flatley, never even did another home study. They never came out to the home.
Don`t you think they would notice there`s only one bedroom and no mommy?
FLATLEY: Yes. We are really, really troubled by the content of the home study. It does appear that they went through some kind of superficial perfunctory process. It doesn`t appear that they made any best effort to talk to his daughter.
GRACE: And what about the grown adopted sister?
GRACE: Didn`t -- wasn`t she molested and never spoke up?
FLATLEY: Absolutely. And no one ever went to talk to her. It could have prevented the abuse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): In 2003, an undercover agent posing as a young girl online was contacted by Mancuso to swap child porn. Pittsburgh agent Denise Holt (ph) and her partner tracked the Web address right to Mancuso`s home. They secured a search warrant, and they went in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it was kind of surreal that day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we walked up to the door, approaching Mancuso and the child come walking from the backyard to us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And right then, we both said to each other, you know, this is not good. We had to separate the two of them so that we could talk to him about why we were there, that we had a search warrant to, you know -- a search warrant to search his home. And we wanted to get her away from the scene so she was not traumatized.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Separated and safe, the little girl broke down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To this day, we don`t really know why she started talking to us that day, but maybe she just had enough. I don`t know. But very short period after she sat down with the other female agent, she said, "I have a secret," and she just disclosed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That little girl, adopted from a very obscure Russian orphanage at age 5 to a brand-new family in America, but to an American pedophile. For the next years of her life, age 5 to 10, she was sexually abused nearly every night, raped. And not only that, her abuser plastered the Internet with child porn.
But that`s not the end of the story. Tonight, with us, this little girl who survived, Masha.
You know, Masha, when I hear that story about the detectives coming to the house, about child pornography, they didn`t even know you were there. Do you remember the day they came?
MASHA, ADOPTIVE FATHER RAPED AND ABUSED HER: Yes.
GRACE: What happened?
MASHA: I got back from school, and we were just out on the back porch. And a car drove up. And we just thought it was just somebody that got the wrong address. So he went to talk to them, and they said they needed to talk to him.
And so an FBI agent came and talked to me. And she explained that they were there because of the pornography and that they didn`t know that I was there. And so we went out on the front porch, and I just told her everything.
GRACE: Why did you -- that day, you hadn`t told anybody at school, no teachers, no grown-ups, nobody. Why, that day, did you suddenly tell a lady, a stranger you didn`t even know?
MASHA: I don`t know. It just -- something inside me told me that that day was going to be the day that it all stopped and that I didn`t have to hide it anymore.
GRACE: Did you feel like you were hiding something?
MASHA: Yes, I did.
GRACE: Why do you think you felt that way?
MASHA: Because I was, and I didn`t tell anybody.
GRACE: Did you feel that you were doing something wrong?
MASHA: No. But, then again, I felt wrong that I didn`t tell anybody.
GRACE: Why do you believe you didn`t tell anyone?
MASHA: Because he threatened me. And I know that. And...
GRACE: When the two detectives came, the lady and the man, to your house, is it true that Mancuso, your adoptive father, was yelling out at you not to talk?
MASHA: Yes. We walked past the window, and he yelled out the window. He was like, "Masha, don`t tell these people anything," and I just kept walking.
GRACE: Did you ever see him again?
MASHA: No, I didn`t.
GRACE: Not in court?
MASHA: I saw him in court, yes.
GRACE: There`s a shot we`re showing right now of Matthew Mancuso in court. Are you afraid of him?
MASHA: Not anymore. I was, but...
GRACE: You know he`s never going to get out?
MASHA: Yes. It just feels like he should be afraid of me now, not the other way around.
MASHA: Honey, I`m sure he is. I am sure he is.
Maureen -- before I go to Maureen, I want to go to a special lady with us tonight. It`s Masha`s new mom, her adoptive mother, who is herself a crime victim. Faith is with us.
You had to go through H-E-double-L to adopt this child. Tell us about it.
FAITH, MASHA`S NEW ADOPTIVE MOTHER: Well, I had caseworkers, a case manager from the foster care agency. They came out to my house three times a month. I had a caseworker once a month. A case manager twice a month came out to my house the entire time she was with me in foster care.
After that, they did a complete home study, looked through my house. Yes, they did a complete home study. They took a picture of Masha in her room at her bed.
GRACE: What I don`t understand how he could waltz into some adoption agency, who, by the way, Elizabeth, called tonight, to try to speak to them. They would not come on the show.
Elizabeth, let me see the Liz-cam for a second. Isn`t it true, when you called this adoption agency in Jersey, they said, "Oh, no, that`s not us"? Right. Right. They are denying they had anything to do with Masha ending up for five years of her life, age 5, pre-K, with an American pedophile. "No, no, no. We didn`t have anything to do with that." But you know, we know what happened.
Maureen Flatley, what did happen?
FLATLEY: Well, first of all, there`s no federal regulation of adoption at all in the United States.
GRACE: Well, hold on. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Right there. Senator Isakson, are you still with us?
SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON (R), GEORGIA: I am.
GRACE: Senator, I`m so proud of you and Kerry pushing through Masha`s Law and putting it out there. Now, I don`t mean to push, but why is it that it is not a federal law that there has to be home studies? I mean, this child was adopted into a home to a single man who was divorced with a daughter he had molested, a grown daughter. They never even did a home study, Senator, nothing. The law does not require them to continue doing follow-ups. What can you do for us?
ISAKSON: Well, first of all, be proud of Masha. Masha has done a great service to children for years to come. She`s brought about a terrible problem, brought it to light. She`s courageous. Senator Kerry and I are carrying that torch, but she`s the one that brought it forward.
You`re correct. We are looking into the adoption issue because of the very thing that happened with Masha and, quite frankly, working with the Bureau of Prisons because of what`s happened in the assignment of Mancuso to the Boston facility in Massachusetts.
So the tentacles of this case go far beyond Masha. But what happened to Masha was the most important thing for us to begin to try to find a way to rectify as best we could. That`s what Senator Kerry`s doing; that`s what I`m doing.
GRACE: And, you know, another thing, Senator Isakson, is I can`t even imagine how many couples, how many people wish that they had a baby, wish that they had a child like Masha that they could love. And this whole scandal jeopardizes American adoptions from other countries. Who wants to let an American adopt when they could be a pedophile?
ISAKSON: Well, that`s why we need to find out where the bad actors are and get them out of the business, because they`re hurting the people that do such a marvelous job all around this country, in terms of adoption.
GRACE: That video we were just showing you is a shot inside a Russian orphanage. There are thousands of children waiting to find a home.
Hey, Elizabeth, do you have shots of the children we were going to highlight tonight that need a home? Let`s roll that for the viewers, if we could, before we go back to Masha. Thanks, dear.
This is Christopher, age 9, resident, Georgia. He loves movies. He loves music. He loves hamburgers, and he wants to be a dentist.
This is Shamone, age 3, out of California. The little thing likes to walk, run and ride his rocking horse.
Let`s see the next one, Elizabeth. There you go.
Valentino is age 10. He likes music. Valentino has cerebral palsy, but he has not let it stop him from playing baseball.
Jorge, age 14, out of Pennsylvania. He loves horses and cats. He gets all A`s and B`s. And he loves the Dairy Queen.
Christine -- isn`t she a beauty? -- 15, loves to talk on the phone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He definitely is a monster. And just by the look on him in the courtroom, what I saw was a monster. And I hope that he stays in there. He cannot hurt no one ever again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. With us tonight, Masha, a child adopted to an American pedophile, who lived through years of abuse. The important part is she lived, as she has brought her attacker to justice, her own adopted father.
I want to go back to her new mom, her new adoptive mom. They`re out of the Georgia jurisdiction now. Faith is with us.
Faith, it`s amazing to me that you got this girl and that you, too, are a crime victim. What happened?
FAITH: Well, when I was like 4 or 5 years old, my stepdad started molesting me. And then, when I got older, my mom and dad got divorced when I was like 10. Then she had boyfriends, and they started abusing me and my sister. And my mom actually knew about it and allowed it to happen.
GRACE: That must have left you with an incredible feeling of helplessness, that no one helped you, but now you can help her. And I`ve learned, as a crime victim myself, that knowing that somebody else has been through the same ordeal, and they survived, and they triumphed, that helps me. And I know that you`re doing this for Masha.
Now, she saw him in court, right?
GRACE: What happened?
FAITH: When he came into court, she wanted to see him, because she wanted to see him walk in, in the shackles around his feet and the handcuffs on his hands. So I allowed her to do that. And when he walked in, she saw him and she actually laughed at him as he walked in the courtroom in these shackles and chains. And, I, you know, let her know that it was OK to do that.
GRACE: You know, so many child molestation victims that I have talked to -- let`s go to Dr. Patricia Saunders, clinically psychologist -- it`s just not only the molestation that haunts them as they grow up; it`s the feeling that nobody did anything.
DR. PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: And that nobody would listen, if they did speak out. No, I think Masha`s kind of unusual, Nancy. And I don`t want our viewers to think that all children who are molested at a very young age and continuously molested over years are as well put- together as Masha appears.
She`s -- well, she`s one of my new heroes tonight. But this new lady has a kind of resilience that`s rare, and I would guess that Faith, her mom, has it, too. And it`s really very special to see them helping each other.
GRACE: You know, it is rare, Doctor, because so many molestation victims that I see, as they grow up, they can`t function anywhere than the level that Masha is now, still as a child.
Also joining us, James Marsh. This is Masha`s attorney. James...
JAMES MARSH, MASHA`S ATTORNEY: Hi, Nancy.
GRACE: Hi, friend. What are we going to do about this adoption agency that helped facilitate Masha coming from Russia, straight into the hands of an American pedophile?
MARSH: Well, I guess, unfortunately, or fortunately for Masha, we have a lot of potential defendants in this case, because it wasn`t just one adoption agency that helped facilitate this. There were many cooperating agencies involved. This was the agency that did the home study. There`s the agency that...
GRACE: Or the lack thereof.
MARSH: Or the lack thereof, what I called the promotional piece for Mr. Mancuso.
GRACE: Any idiot could see there was one bedroom and one father and no mom.
MARSH: Well, I think what we`ve seen in this case is that -- you know, we talked to law enforcement. And what really led to Masha`s rescue was a gut feeling that something was wrong here. And what we didn`t have in the adoption context was any gut feeling...
GRACE: Are you suing? Are you suing?
MARSH: We are suing, absolutely.
GRACE: Who are you suing?
MARSH: We are suing the agency that did the home study. And we`re still trying to sort out which agency was responsible for the placement. We have two names. They`re pointing the fingers at each other.
GRACE: That`s right.
MARSH: And we`re going to get to the bottom of this for Masha.
GRACE: You know, Elizabeth, do you have the application we found that Mancuso made for her where it cites what kind of child he would like to bring home? If you could put that up, and highlight the part I want to show the viewers that we talked about.
Maureen Flatley is an advocate for children. What I don`t understand is how, in this country, children like Masha can be adopted with basically no home study.
There we go. Mancuso wants a child, a girl, between 5 and 6, Caucasian. He is willing to consider a child with minor disabilities. I detect a child diagnosed with learning disabilities.
Now, what does that say to you? Why was this allowed?
FLATLEY: Well, again, there`s no federal regulation of adoption of any kind. And worse yet, there are very different standards to adopt an American foster child. Fortunately for Masha, ironically, she entered the American foster care system, which actually has the highest standards for adoption, which is why Faith`s home study was so much tougher.
But if you`re adopting from a foreign country, the standards are extraordinarily low, really almost non-existent, in some cases, state to state. So we really believe strongly that we have to develop a single national standard to protect children wherever they come from.
GRACE: Back to Kevin Rothstein with "The Boston Herald," Kevin Rothstein, again, Mancuso behind bars tonight, not in a maximum facility prison where he belongs. He`s in a cushy mental health facility. Tell me, what kind of privileges does he have there at Devens Prison Hospital?
ROTHSTEIN: Well, what he doesn`t have are those restrictions and the top security of a federal penitentiary. We know there`s a recreational facility, facilities that he can use there, although...
GRACE: Like what?
ROTHSTEIN: Not quite clear right now...
GRACE: Track, basketball court, baseball, soccer, treadmills -- treadmills? Treadmills! And board games. Board games? This guy has a recreational facility.
When you hear that, Masha, if you could speak out to him tonight, what would you tell him?
MASHA: He doesn`t belong there. Whoever put him there or how he got there is wrong. And while I`m sitting here having nightmares and still suffering even after he`s gone, he`s sitting there playing games and comfortable? That`s not right.
GRACE: Senator Isakson, I hope you can hear us.
ISAKSON: I can.
GRACE: We`ll all be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MASHA: There are people that can help them. And they should tell somebody, even if they are afraid to talk about it. The sooner they tell someone, the sooner it will get better. And they should have courage and be strong about it, because it`s not going to last forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: This is the first birthday party that Masha ever had. Sitting here on the set in the break, she told me that her adoptive father molested her on Christmas Day. She was adopted by him. She lived with him ages 5 to 10.
To Detective McGarry, what are you doing to make sure this does not happen to other children?
MCGARRY: We`re going through every picture that we come across -- we literally seize millions of images. We`re trying our best to go through every single one of them and glean every clue we can.
GRACE: And you need an army for that, Detective. But I`ve got to tell you, everybody, if you don`t believe heroes exist, take a look at Detective Constable Bill McGarry. We have flown him in from Canada for working tirelessly to help solve this case.
But the real star in my mind is this child who survived.
Sweetie, if you could speak out to children tonight, what would you tell them?
MASHA: To not be afraid to tell somebody, because there are people you could go to and trust. And eventually, it will get better and stop. But people shouldn`t be afraid to talk about it.
GRACE: And you`re happy now with your new mom?
GRACE: Thank you.
I want to thank all of my guests and to this child, Masha, for giving other children a voice and courage to speak out. But our biggest thank you is to you for inviting us and Masha and her story into your home. I`m Nancy Grace signing off for tonight. I`ll see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, good night, friend.