A New Frontier for Victims of Child Pornography
Lest anyone think that all I do is sit around and pontificate all day, our law firm has actual clients with some groundbreaking issues.
Yesterday, a federal judge in Bridgeport, Connecticut established a “new frontier” in favor of exploited children when he ordered a wealthy former Pfizer executive to pay about $200,000 to our client, a girl whose images the executive had obtained through the Internet from another collector of child pornography.
The ruling, the first of its kind in the country, comes against Alan Hesketh, a man who downloaded, viewed and traded child pornography, but had no actual contact with any of the victims.
Since October, Hesketh, who has a doctorate in organic chemistry and a law degree, has been serving a six-and-one-half year sentence after a guilty plea to the possession charge. Pfizer fired him following his arrest last March.
The issue of restitution, part of the sentence, arose after federal investigators identified the child victim from pornographic images taken years ago but recently recovered from Hesketh’s home computer. The female victim, now 19, made a claim against Hesketh after the authorities notified her of his arrest and prosecution.
The U.S. attorney’s office, which prosecuted Hesketh, said it took no position on restitution. But the office none-the-less filed a lengthy memo with Senior U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton arguing in favor of restitution. Restitution is a payment typically imposed on convicts to compensate victims for suffering and for a variety of costs, including legal and counseling fees.
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