In Court on April 1, 2024, Judge Kelly Cottrill sentenced child molester, Alberto Mancuso, to a maximum prison sentence of 12 months with sexual offender registration.

Ron Welch
Muskingum County Prosecutor


Thursday, April 4, 2024

Serial Child Molester Alberto Mancuso Sentenced to Prison

In Court on April 1, 2024, Judge Kelly Cottrill sentenced child molester, Alberto Mancuso, to a maximum prison sentence of 12 months with sexual offender registration. Assistant Prosecutor Gerald Anderson argued to the Court using both a sentencing memorandum and oral argument during the hearing. Much of the argument explained the pattern of manipulation and control that was exerted by both the Defendant and members of his family to silence his victims during every phase of the abuse and the legal process.

Anderson stated that “Similar to his last case where he faced rape allegations from young girls in his home, the Defendant and his family attempted to emotionally beat the victim into submission. The family that had once loved her, first stopped speaking to her, and then informed her she was disowned completely. Regardless, she pressed forward, hoping that maybe she could protect other young children from being molested by the Defendant. I want to thank the victim for her courage in coming forward and staying strong despite the pressure from the Defendant and his family.”

Every sexual assault case, particularly of children, carry several challenges unique to cases of that type. First, the State must be concerned with ensuring that the community is safe from dangerous criminals. Second, the State must do its best to hold any sexual abuser accountable for their crimes against the victim, and see that the abuser is punished. Third, the State must also do its best to protect the child, both from the abuser and from the harm that comes by going through the legal process.

Standing up and speaking out against an abuser is one of the most courageous and difficult things a victim of sexual abuse can do. Although one might hope or expect a victim’s difficulties to stop after coming forward, many times a completely new set of issues arise.

Some people think that fear that the abuser will do something again, or fear that the abuser will do something to a victim can cause someone not to disclose an attack. Far more common is a victim’s fear that no one will believe them. Abusers routinely tell their victims that no one will believe them if they say something. And time and time again, victims suffer through their abuse in silence.

Worse, families often choose to support the abuser instead of a victim; proving to the victim that their sexual abuser was right. Far too often, the mother of a sexually abused child supports the abuser and tries to undermine and silence their own child. The victim’s difficulties in having to relive all the details about being sexually abused, of having to testify in court and then be attacked by a defense attorney for any small mistake, and of having private and horrific experiences subjected to public scrutiny make it traumatic for any victim to come forward. This trauma is only worsened when the people that should love, support, and protect the victim betray their role and side with the wrongdoer.

Nor is a child’s isolation from their family the only struggle they must face. Another struggle comes when members of the public offer their support to molesters and rapists. In this respect the child victim hears that teachers, businesspeople, neighbors, church-goers, and people from all facets of life outside their family support their abuser. Often, these individuals offer support without knowing any details, without hearing what the victim has disclosed, or after relying on the twisted and perverse version of events the abuser presents. But the victim hears the abuser’s voice in every contradictory word from these members of the community: no one will believe you.

For the brave victims that can withstand the difficulties of a trial, the next hurdle includes testifying. Their abuser is on trial, but the focus is switched and the victim is scrutinized. Questions span behavior of many age ranges, but almost always include judgment of behaviors in children that are the natural and foreseeable results of being abused. The exact factors that experts say are indicators of undisclosed abuse are weaponized against the child’s credibility. They include some of the following, depending on age: you still believe in Santa, you stole gum from the store, you get in trouble at school, you smoked marijuana, you lied about having a boyfriend, you took photos in a bikini and sent them to a stranger, you acted out in a sexual way, etc., This process, especially for a child, can be detrimental to any mental and emotional progress made since first speaking out.

Most of, if not more than, these issues complicate almost every sexual assault case. The State balances the safety of the community, punishing the abuser, and protecting the victim when handling every case. Sometimes, that means a case that is ready to go to trial results in a plea of reduced charges. A plea of that nature can feel as if justice is not being served, but the alternative option is to force a victim into another traumatizing event outside of their control, or to not file charges in the first place on difficult cases. Some counties operate under a policy that avoids criticism for reduced charges, but results in more predators going uncharged and unpunished. Muskingum County does its best to send every sexual abuser to prison for as long as possible while respecting issues central to the life of the victim. In the case of Alberto Mancuso, many of these issues were present, and the maximum sentence possible was obtained.

The Defendant was indicted on October 19, 2023, on four counts of gross sexual imposition, each a felony of the fourth degree, two counts of kidnapping, each a felony of the first degree, and one count of endangering children, a felony of the fourth degree. After the Defendant offered to plead to one count involving molesting the victim, where he could be sent to prison and have to register as a sex offender, the victim agreed with the Prosecutor’s Office which accepted the Defendant’s offer to admit his molestation, but only under the circumstance where his plea would acknowledge that he actually committed the acts of molesting the child.

The Defendant offered to pled guilty to attempted gross sexual imposition and endangering a child by molestation. This offer was accepted.

It is important to know some context of what occurred in the Defendant’s case. First, his abuse went on for years, beginning with grooming. Grooming occurs when someone befriends or attempts to create an emotional attachment with a child with the intention of sexually abusing the child. Grooming behaviors can include giving gifts or favors, talking about sexual topics, or showing pornography to or initiating physical contact with a child. It is one method to make sexual behavior seem normal and also gain trust so that a child will not disclose any other sexual behaviors.

Second, the Defendant was enabled and empowered by his family to sexually abuse this victim, as well as at least three others. After the Defendant molested children, his wife and other members of his family failed to support and protect, not one, not two, not three, but four different victims of his sexual abuse. In a recent case, a Muskingum County jury could not come to a unanimous verdict on his molestation of two children. The trauma inflicted on the children by the trial and by the Defendant and his family was so severe that they could not endure a second trial.

Despite multiple victims coming forward about abuse of precisely the same nature from the Defendant over the years, when the victim in this case also came forward, the Defendant’s family once again isolated her, ceasing any communication, demonizing small grievances, and when that did not dissuade the victim, they followed the same pattern of disowning her completely from the family. The victim chose to agree to the Defendant’s offer knowing he would never be adequately punished for everything he did to her, but hoping it might save another child from suffering at his hands.

Multiple people in our community – some family members of the Defendant, others who attend the same church as the Defendant – wrote letters in support of the Defendant after he pled guilty to molesting his most recent victim.

One of his earliest victims contradicted their letters, explaining to the judge that the Defendant twists any situation to make the victim feel at fault and “is a master manipulator and survivalist of the most seedy and charming variety.”

Those charms worked, at least in part, during his previous trial.

She went on to say that she was forced to obtain early on “the knowledge that life would become worse for me inside his house.” And later, “[t]here became an unspoken understanding that what happened inside Alberto's home would not be spoken about outside it.”

The Defendant’s attempts at trying to twist the truth to present himself as a decent human being continued in the courtroom on Monday. The Defendant tried to blame the victim, and provided numerous reasons he claimed she was a bad kid, almost always referring to events that could not be disproven standing in the courtroom, but with a moment of follow-up were shown to be outright lies. Ultimately his charm was lost on Judge Cottrill.

After reading the letter the victim wrote, where she described her mistaken belief that the Defendant cared for her until she grew older and realized what he was actually doing to her, Anderson directed the Court to review the State’s sentencing memorandum to arrive at an appropriate sentence. It is presented in part below:

In the case at bar, the Defendant subjected his victim to years of repeated sexual abuse, ranging from grooming behavior to molestation.

The underlying offenses are ones of great concern for escalation and recidivism, primarily because three other victims have disclosed being sexually abused by him prior to the sexual abuse against the victim in this case. The defendant has demonstrated a pattern of preying upon young girls, grooming them into an inappropriate and abusive sexual relationship. The Defendant used a mixture of his parental authority, his reputation, threats, isolation, and force to manipulate this victim to submit to his unwanted touching, kisses, and groping. His behavior has been enabled and encouraged over time by his family and friend group, who excuse his sexual assaults against children, who shame and retaliate against the children that he abuses, and who have the audacity to file letters to this Court in support of his continued pattern of child sexual abuse. There are not words to appropriately describe the harm the Defendant has caused.


Alberto Mancuso was indicted on four counts of gross sexual imposition, two counts of kidnappings, and one count of felony child endangering. However, we are only here for sentencing on one count of attempted gross sexual imposition and a misdemeanor child endangering. Some might wonder about the plea or if the reduction means he did not really molest the victim. For the record, the Defendant admitted to molesting the victim, just not to the crime of molesting the victim. What do I mean by that? Let me explain.

Even before this case was indicted, the State was aware of the last time that the Defendant was accused of raping his step-daughters, and had a trial that resulted in a hung jury. Possibly the rarest outcome at trial. When there is a hung jury, a defendant is not acquitted of the charges, and a new trial can be set with new jurors to hear the case anew. The step-daughters expressed a desire to not have another trial however, because not only had they suffered at the Defendant’s hands when sexually abused, but their mother, Lora Mancuso, and the rest of the family cut ties and would not speak with the children while the case was pending. The girls felt like they had lost their family by coming forward. And so the Defendant was offered a plea deal where he only had to plead guilty to endangering the girls.

When the victim in this case reported her abuse by the Defendant, the State knew that the Defendant and his family would engage in the same abusive, enabling behavior and try to shift blame to the victim and isolate her from the rest of the family. As the case progressed, information that the family was going to do just that started to come out. Of particular note was a meeting with the victim where she discussed losing her family, where she was told by her family that the Defendant’s attorney told them they were not allowed to speak with her. They wouldn’t speak with her on Mother’s Day or on her birthday. She felt like the people that she loved and who had cared for her had completely abandoned her. In this way, the Defendant’s family members are morally complicit in his crimes, even if they are not legally complicit.

Then the Defendant’s daughter, who lives out of state, learned that the Defendant was charged again with sexually abuse of a child, contacted law enforcement to report about the time she was molested by the Defendant. She stated she had always been too scared to come forward, but knew she had to now that it happened again, for the third time. However, the Defendant had sexually abused her so long ago that the statute of limitations had run and he will never be charged for those crimes. Still, knowing she will never receive justice for what he had done to her, she offered to come to court and testify about what he did to her.

Typically, a prior victim is not permitted to testify in another victim’s case, but when the sexual abuse is so similar and demonstrates a pattern by the defendant, the Court may permit testimony from prior victims. Over the years and through the victims, the Defendant has not changed his pattern or tactics; grooming his victims, incidental touching in more open settings, and more apparent molesting behind closed doors.

The victim in this case reported a range of behavior over years by the Defendant. The Defendant’s behavior included comments about her looks and outfits, a demand she remove her clothing so he could see her in her bikini, kissing, smacking her butt, touching her privates, rubbing his penis against her private area while pinning her down, and kissing her vagina.

Some specific times she talks about include the last time something happened, when she was sick and went to the Defendant’s room to be comforted. His wife was sleeping on the couch and he had the victim lay down in bed with him. He started touching her hair and rubbing her shoulders, maybe to comfort her. But then he didn’t stop there. He moved his hands to her inner thigh, her butt, told her he had a dream about tasting her vagina. He told her that he hadn’t been having sex with his wife and asked for just 5 minutes with the victim, while kissing all over her body, and touching everywhere; her breasts, butt, arms, armpits, feet, hands, fingers,…. He was rubbing her nipple with his thumb, and kissing her chest. He kept asking her to kiss him. After, she messaged her friend and brother that she thought she was going to be raped.

She talked about other times that she felt uncomfortable, but wasn’t sure if he was allowed to do what he was doing. He would grab her and pin her down, asking how she’d get out of a situation like it. He’d do this multiple times, and every time he would position himself so his penis was rubbing up against her vagina, with her legs up by his head or in some other position so that she could feel him rubbing against her. Other times he would constantly smack her butt, even in front of his wife. He would sit next to her with his hand on her thigh.

Another specific time she disclosed was a night he came into her bedroom and thought she was asleep. She felt him look at her legs, inspecting her legs, then thighs, then vaginal area. She felt him pull her shorts and underwear to the side, felt his breath and his prickly beard rubbing on her legs and then vagina, until he kissed her there. That was when she started to feel uncomfortable wearing shorts around him.

That time is nearly identical to what his step-daughter disclosed when she was sleeping on the porch swing next to him and woke up to him touching her, or another time when he had come into her room and laid down next to her in bed, and she had her pants unzipped. It is also nearly identical to what his daughter disclosed, when he came into her room and moved his hand under her shorts and underwear and started molesting her while he thought she was asleep. She acted like she was starting to wake up to get him to stop; he did not.

The Defendant is charismatic and presents as religious and moral, but it is a façade that he puts on for others; only his victims truly know him, the person he is behind closed doors. To outsiders, he acts like someone that is helpful, religious, and family-oriented. He uses this reputation to help him groom young girls. Any excessive or inappropriate touching is explained away as being a caring father, affectionate, and that physical touch is his love language. Instead, his house is where his victims must suffer in silence.

His daughter explains how he flips blame to avoid guilt. She has discussed numerous occasions of something inappropriate happening in the home and whenever she tried to point it out, the Defendant would say that she just had her mind in the gutter, that she misunderstood the situation, that she needed therapy, or that she was the problem. At one point, after consistently seeing that something was wrong in the house, she was made an example for the rest of the family of what a liar looks like, of someone that could not be trusted. She learned that you just don’t talk about what happens in the Defendant’s house.

This tactic of flipping blame, discrediting anyone that speaks against him, and ostracizing them from the rest of the family did not just happen to his daughter. The same thing was done to his step-daughters when they came forward about the sexual abuse they suffered. He has done it again with the victim in this case. His statement in the PSI focused on how he sacrificed to give the victim a good home, and he and his family have suffered at her hands. He tries to create issues with her school, cell phone use, involvement with juvenile court to explain away her very detailed sexual abuse that went on for years. His story is nothing more than a story. He and his wife did take in the victim as a baby, but then would not return her to her family. When her family wanted to take her, or even visit her, the Defendant would not allow them to his house, changed his number, and kept the truth of her identity from her for over a decade. Children Services discovered this situation after trying to file for custody, because they learned that the Defendant and his wife never had any legal custody of the victim.

Why does all of this matter? The Defendant has applied his tactics of flipping blame and isolating his victim to his criminal cases. Beyond the typical tactic of attacking a victim’s credibility with every little mistake, real or imagined, the Defendant learned that isolating and traumatizing his victim improves his own outcome. In his last trial, he was never acquitted, and a new trial was scheduled, but his victims felt like they lost their family and did not want to go through it any longer. To this day, they still do not want to have to subject themselves to the trauma of testifying about their own abuse. Although the Defendant has tried the same tactic with the victim in this case, she has maintained that even if she did not have support from her family, then she would just do it alone.

When the Defendant offered to plead guilty to one count of a felony of the fifth degree gross sexual imposition, the victim considered the anticipated attacks from testifying and what she hoped for an outcome. Although the victim wanted the Defendant’s prison sentence to reflect the harm he caused her, she also wanted him to have to register as sex offender, and admit he sexually abused her. Part of her hoped that her family would finally support her. She agreed to the plea offer, but a gross sexual imposition is never lower than a felony of the fourth degree. Instead of pleading to a gross sexual imposition, the Defendant’s attorneys asked to plead to a felony of the fifth degree attempted gross sexual imposition, which carried a maximum sentence of 12 months and still required the Defendant to register as a sex offender. Typically, sexual abusers are concerned with admitting to abusing their victims, but the Defendant was concerned with the time he might serve. I said I wouldn’t do the attempted gross sexual imposition, because I was not going to allow the Defendant to deny that he sexually abused this victim. As a compromise, he agreed to plead to a child endangering, to have a count where he was admitting to sexually abusing his victim without increasing the amount of time he may serve.

I read the Defendant’s statement in his PSI where he claims he did not do this. While it may not jump out immediately from the charges on paper, the Defendant plead guilty to the crime of attempted gross sexual imposition and child endangering, which is what he wanted. But the facts he admitted to were that he sexually abused the victim, rubbing her nipples and touching her chest while asking her to have sex with him, that he would pin her down and rub his penis against her vaginal area, that he pulled her shorts and underwear to the side while in her bed and kissed he vagina, among other grooming behavior.

So as I stated before, he may not have admitted to committing more crimes, but he admitted to committing the acts. Any claims he makes to disparage the victim or deny his abuse is more of the same tactics he has used to try and avoid any guilt and blame others.

As part of his dishonest display, the Defendant has submitted numerous letters from persons in the community who have either been manipulated by him, or who have actively enabled his sexual abuse. One writer opined that the Defendant is calm and compassionate, as if a calm and compassionate child molester is somehow better than an excited and indifferent child molester. He submitted letters indicating that he is a hardworking and devout Christian. Perhaps God will forgive him for the trail of sexually abused children he has left in his wake, but it seems unlikely that his behavior could be categorized as “Christian” in nature, when Christ said of anyone that hurt little children: “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6. Letters about how he is a ”family man” from family members who have ostracized, isolated, and mentally abused the Defendant’s sexual assault victims – who incidentally were also family members – are not convincing, but explain how this abuse has been allowed to continue on so long.

The Defendant is a serial child molester, and serial child molesters belong in prison for as long as it is possible to place them there. In this case, that sentence is 12 months.

“After years of abuse of multiple victims, the Defendant is finally held accountable, going to prison and registering as the sex offender he is. He is a serial child molester, and hopefully the victims will receive some peace knowing that he will not have access to a child while serving his sentence,” said Assistant Prosecutor Gerald Anderson.

Follow the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office on Facebook for the most current and complete information.

Serial Child Molester Alberto Mancuso Sentenced to Prison