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January 4, 2010

"Prosecutors seek nearly $200k for child porn victim"

The title of this post is the headline of this interesting local article reporting on another case of a child porn victim seeking a significant restitution award from a person who downloaded the wrong dirty picture. Here are excerpts:

Federal prosecutors want Hammond federal Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to order Portage child pornography convict Mark Ontiveros to pay the victim $193,310.86 in restitution because his computer held images of Vicky before his arrest in summer 2008. Most of that money would be earmarked for her mental health treatment and counseling, according to federal court records.

Ontiveros' attorney, Bryan Truitt, said his client doesn't deny he possessed child pornographic images, a crime that will net the convicted man at least five years in prison. But Truitt said he will argue Ontiveros cannot and should not pay almost $200,000 for the psychological consequences of the girl's sexual exploitation. Ontiveros is not the "proximate cause" of enough harm to warrant that figure, Truitt said....

Prosecutors claim investigators found Ontiveros had collected more than 1,300 images and 18 videos showing children "posing lasciviously" or being raped or molested. Ontiveros admitted to police he viewed child pornography for as many as three hours per day, sometimes when his young son was in the room, according to court records.

At least one ofthe images in Ontiveros' collection is from a series of sexually explicit pictures of the girl referred to in court papers as "Vicky." Nine other children "known to law enforcement" were found in Ontiveros' pictures and videos, but Vicky's lawyer was the only attorney to seek restitution, according to the motion filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Trumbull-Harris. Vicky's lawyer requested $165,905 for future counseling, $23,205.86 for treatment and "legal-related" costs and $4,200 in attorney fees, Trumbull-Harris wrote....

Vicky will not testify at Ontiveros' sentencing because of "recent severe psychological trauma from attending multiple sentencing hearings" for other offenders, Trumbull-Harris wrote. Federal law mandates a minimum sentence of five years in prison for Ontiveros at sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 14. Truitt argues in a sentencing memorandum filed last week that Van Bokkelen should hand Ontiveros the minimum, a term that would fall below advisory sentencing guidelines, to be followed by five years of mental health treatment.

Some related recent federal child porn prosecution and sentencing posts:

January 4, 2010 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

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Comments

It should sadden us all to read that Vicky is suffering “recent severe psychological trauma from attending multiple sentencing hearings.”

I suspect that Vicky wouldn’t even have known about those hearings, or about the crimes that precipitated them, had not prosecutors been eager to haul her into court to give evidence. Now, yet another offender whom Vicky would never have known about is being asked to help pay for her counseling, when the prosecutors themselves were partly responsible for aggravating her condition. Brilliant!

Mind you, I do not disagree that a guy who watches child porn for three hours a day with his own young son in the room is a guy who needs help. But making him pay for Vicky’s prosecutor-induced trauma is not the answer.

Posted by: Marc Shepherd | Jan 4, 2010 5:13:42 PM

Marc, I wouldn't go so far as to call it prosecutor-induced trauma, but your post has validity. The $200K judgment, to a certain extent, is funny money. The victim will likely never see it. It therefore has the potential to be an obstacle to her moving on.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 4, 2010 5:45:56 PM

i agree. from where i sit it's NOW the govt who is abusing her! Where is the money they should be coughting up!. I also wonder if her photo's arent' some of thse the govt is using to TRAP other sex offenders....like some of the others.

Posted by: rodsmith3510 | Jan 4, 2010 7:31:38 PM

She is being f**ked all over again, as one of the FBI's CP poster girls (particularly as since she appears very keen in the videos).

Keeerchinggg.

NLO

Posted by: Dr Nigel Leigh Oldfield | Jan 5, 2010 9:39:17 AM

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