Restitution for Child Pornography Victims – what the government must do

Thanks to Professor Paul Cassell for this post on The Volokh Conspiracy involving one of my cases:

Yesterday U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz of the District of Minnesota issued an interesting order regarding a restitution application in a child pornography case. In his order, found here, Judge Schiltz chastises the government for failing to pursue restitution for child pornography cases in his district, even though Congress has made restitution mandatory in such cases. Judge Schiltz wrote:

This Court has recently handled a number of other child-pornography cases in which the United States Probation Office has identified victims who are seeking restitution. Notwithstanding the strict mandates of § 2259, the government has also declined to pursue restitution in those cases. Given the clear Congressional mandate that those convicted of child pornography offenses pay restitution to their victims, the Court will no longer accept silence from the government when an identified victim of a child-pornography offense seeks restitution. If the government declines to seek restitution, the government will have to give the Court some explanation for its decision.

Also check out the Star Tribune which covered this issue in a story today.

Here is the full text of the judge’s decision.

Minnesota Public Radio also covered this issue here.

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