Restitution for Child Pornography Victim Denied
On Monday, a federal district judge in the Eastern District of Texas issued a memorandum opinion and order denying restitution to a now 20-year-old woman known as “Amy” in the case of a defendant who downloaded and possessed her images.
The Court’s decision is a serious set-back for victims of child pornography like Amy in their effort to obtain just and timely restitution for the ongoing crimes perpetrated against them. How can we, as a country, justify awarding tens of thousands of dollars in damages to record companies for downloading a single song, while criminals who exploit children pay nothing?
For over 30 years, Congress and the Supreme Court have recognized that victims of child pornography experience significant life-long harm by individuals like the defendant in this case who trade and possess images of their rape, abuse and humiliation.
It is now up to Congress, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court to decide this issue in the interest of children like Amy and the American people who have little tolerance for these crimes and the abuse and exploitation of our nation’s young people.
For coverage of this case see the Tyler Morning Telegraph
Further background can be found here.