Child Porn Victims Seeking Restitution From Viewers

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A woman, now 20, who starred in a “Misty” child pornography series is asking federal courts for restitution from anyone convicted of possessing it, reports the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. The 1994 federal Violence Against Women Act includes a section requiring restitution for victims of sex crimes. Whether that extends to defendants convicted of downloading and viewing child pornography remains a hotly contested question. Some judges have awarded the woman millions; others have given her nothing.

The woman, who goes by the name Amy, seeks restitution for physical, psychiatric and psychological care, occupational therapy, transportation, housing, child care, lost income, attorneys’ fees, and other losses that might result from the crimes that have occurred. Though the restitution law has been on the books for 15 years, no one tried to collect from defendants who downloaded and viewed the videos until this year. Those who produced the videos, such as Amy’s uncle, have long been held accountable for payments to the victims. Only recently has the Department of Justice begun notifying victims that they could be entitled to restitution. More than 2,600 child victims have been positively identified.

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