A.G. Fox Urges Passage of Child Pornography Victim Bill
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is calling on congressional leaders to pass legislation supporting victims of child pornography.
The bill, the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2017, will make it easier for victims of child pornography to obtain restitution.
“The Internet and other new technologies make child pornography more easily attainable, leading to increased victimization and trafficking to meet the demand,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “While nothing can permanently erase these images from the Internet or the harm done to victims, Congress can act to make it easier for victims to receive meaningful restitution from perpetrators who produce, share, and view these images.”
Attorneys General Fox’s letter is in response to a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision which held that while victims of child pornography are entitled to restitution, any individual defendant they go after and sue is only liable for the harm caused by that one individual’s possession of the images.
“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s decision puts an enormous burden on victims of child pornography,” the letter reads. “In order to receive restitution, a victim must pursue every case in which a defendant was found to possess images of the victim. As the Supreme Court recognized, digital images of each child victim are trafficked worldwide, and there may be thousands of defendants found to possess each victim’s images. As a result, victims are only able to receive a small amount of restitution from each defendant and must pursue thousands of cases in order to receive full restitution. Preventing victims from collecting full restitution protects defendants, who are shielded from having to pay meaningful costs to those they have harmed.”
The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act will improve the law by clarifying that victims be fully compensated for all the harms resulting from every perpetrator who contributed to their trauma.