Ex-Child Porn Victim Seeks Damages In Precedent-Setting Claim

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A woman who became a star victim in the netherworld of child pornography when she was photographed and videotaped by her uncle is demanding that everyone convicted of possessing an image of her pay damages until her total claim of $3.4 million has been met, reports the New York Times. Images from the so-called “Misty series” often turn up in the collections of those arrrested for possessing illegal images. Some experts argue that forcing payment from people who do not produce such images but only possess them goes too far.

The issue is part of a larger debate over fairness in sentencing sex offenders. For years, lawmakers (and some voters) have reasoned that virtually no punishment was too severe for such criminals; even statutory limits on sentencing were often exceeded. Now some courts have begun to push back, saying these heavy sentences are improper, and a new emphasis has arisen on making sex offenders pay monetary damages for their crimes. If such damages become widespread, experts say, it may make it easier to reach a consensus on measured sentencing.

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