Adoption Agency Accused Of|Ignoring Child Abuser’s ‘Red Flags’

     CAMDEN, N.J. (CN) – “Despite one red flag after another,” Families Thru International Adoption allowed a child abuser to adopt a 5-year-old Russian orphan and sexually abuse her for 5 years, starving her, chaining her in the basement, and posting hundreds of sexually exploitative and sadomasochistic photos of her on the Internet, the girl’s new guardian claims in Federal Court.




     The girl’s new guardian claims the defendants allowed Matthew Mancuso, 39, an unmarried man, to adopt the 5-year-old girl in 1997. She claims the defendants ignored repeated red flags – for instance, that Mancuso did not provide the girl with her own room, but forced her to sleep with him.
     The girl, who still is a minor, and her new guardian claim Mancuso sexually abused her on a nightly basis, starved her to keep her from maturing, chained her in the basement, and took hundreds of sexually explicit photos of her and posted them on the Internet.
     Mancuso was arrested on May 23, 2003 and charged with child abuse, the complaint states.
     Here are the defendants: Families Thru International Adoption Inc., of Evansville, Ind.; Child Promise Inc. fka Reaching Out Thru International Adoption Inc., of Southampton, N.J.; Reaching Out Thru International Adoption Inc., of Southampton; and Jeannene Smith, of Cherry Hill, N.J., the alleged founder and operator of Reaching Out Thru International Adoption Inc.
     The girl and her new mom are represented by Robert Hunn with Kolsby, Gordon, Robin of Philadelphia.

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