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January 31, 2012

Fascinating AP update on efforts by "Amy" to get restitution from child porn downloaders

This new AP article, headlined "Court to weigh restitution for child porn victim," reports on the news I covered in this post last week, namely that the Fifth Circuit has called for en banc review of whether and how federal law permits a child depicted in illegal porn to secure a restitution award in the sentencing of an offender who only downloaded that child's image. The AP article adds important back-story to the story with this accounting of the child's partial success in obtaining restitution to date:

A federal appeals court in New Orleans has agreed to rehear two cases in which a victim of child pornography sought restitution from men who viewed sexually explicit photographs of her on the Internet. The victim in both cases, who is identified only as a woman named "Amy," was a young child when her uncle sexually abused her and widely circulated images of the abuse, according to court records....

Amy, now a woman in her early 20s living in Pennsylvania, has filed more than 700 requests for restitution across the country since 2009, collecting more than $1.5 million from dozens of individuals, according to James Marsh, one of her attorneys.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says its analysts have found more than 35,000 images of Amy's abuse among the evidence in more than 3,200 child pornography cases since 1998.

Under the Crime Victims Rights' Act, Amy sought more than $3.3 million in restitution from Paroline to cover the cost of her lost income, attorneys' fees and psychological care.

The AP article also reports that the full Fifth Circuit will not hear argument in the case until May, which in turn means it is unlikely we will get a ruling from the en banc court until probably the fall at the earliest.

January 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Sorry but those pictures will be on the internet forever. Restitution to the victims for viewing them is just craziness. Wouldn't all be better off concentrating on the actual photographers and originators of the material. Stop suppling her attorney, James Marsh, with a funding stream at the expense of this poor girls horrible experiences. If approved, how would that affect the federal agents and USAGs who constantly view and use these pictures for prosecutions. They are also the ones constantly viewing and reminding these victims by notifiying them again and again every time someone is caught with them. That seems just as sickening and perverted as the pictures themselves. How can someone live with themselves having a job that constantly reminds the victims like that time and time again? Wouldn't it be better to served to try blocking or dismantling the sites that disseminate this material in the first place?

Posted by: comment | Jan 31, 2012 12:45:02 PM

my understanding is that government notifies the victims each time the image is found, thus "alerting" the victim to an injury that would otherwise be unknown. if the image is traumatizing each time, why is the government participating in creating trauma that would otherwise never occur?

Posted by: big bad wolf | Jan 31, 2012 1:54:43 PM

The true purpose of these prosecutions is now more in the open. Plunder of the productive male by feminist lawyers. The point made twice above is self-evident. The trauma comes from the prosecution. Yet, they are immune in torts, and cannot be sued in a cross claim. I would support the unification of all the victims of the lawyer criminal cult enterprise, into a legal advocacy group. it should argue for a constitutional amendment ending all immunities of the lawyers and judges, legislatures, and executive branches. It should seek to exclude lawyers from all benches, legislative seats and responsible policy positions in the executive. There should be another group that organizes a boycott, and finally a direct action group that kneecaps the internal traitors after secret trials. The boycott list should include the armed police thugs that enforce the orders of the criminal cult enterprise.

As membership in the KKK is not acceptable for any professor or other influential person, so feminists should be purged from all universities and schools. It is a hate filled supremacist ideology, and racist.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 31, 2012 9:53:12 PM

The government notifies the victims, such as Amy, only if the victims request such notification.

Posted by: domino | Feb 1, 2012 8:09:43 AM

I still say that copyright law and copyright infringement theories show the most rational theory of compensation and setting compensation in these cases. Having defendants pay a "user's fee" into a compensation fund for victims of child pornography would provide for compensation in a rational matter. Naturally, such fees would be higher for those who redistributed the image.

To see the "restitution" as being for copyright infringement or invasion of privacy also is much more rationally connected to reality than pretending that someone possessing an image of abuse which took place years ago creates harm in and of itself. The harm there is from illegal/unauthorized possession of an image of a living individual - because copyright law alrady provides a theory of enforcement in those cases, it should be used for compensation which will remove the restitution questions.

erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Feb 1, 2012 9:24:54 AM

Virgina, agree with your last post. Thought I'd say so.

Posted by: Barkley | Feb 1, 2012 9:56:48 AM

works for me virginia as long as you also demand the govt pay into the fund EACH and EVERY time they use one of the photo's for one of thier never ending stings! since they are responsible for a major portion of the chiild porn out there on the web from some of the studies i've seen!

Posted by: rodsmith | Feb 1, 2012 11:45:06 AM

rodsmith, agree with your last post. Thought I'd say so too.

Posted by: comment | Feb 1, 2012 5:40:42 PM

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