Supreme Court to Review Federal Law on Child Porn Victim Restitution

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The Supreme Court will decide in its next term whether someone who possesses images of child pornography can be required to pay a multimillion dollar restitution award to the abused child depicted in the illicit images even if the individual had no direct contact with the child-victim, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The federal Mandatory Restitution for Sexual Exploitation of Children law says judges “shall order restitution” for the victim in a child pornography case in “the full amount of the victim's losses.”

Most courts have declined to require child pornography consumers (as opposed to producers) to pay full restitution. The high court will review an appeal by Doyle Paroline of Texas, who faced a restitution demand of $3.4 million after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. Investigators found 280 images on his computer, including “Amy”. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has found at least 35,000 copies of images of Amy's abuse in 3,200 child pornography cases since 1998.

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