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Hill joins AGs supporting child pornography victims law

March 7, 2018

Curtis Hill — along with 54 other state and territorial attorneys general — has co-signed a letter calling on Congress to approve the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2017.

The bill, introduced in November 2017 by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) would make it easier for victims of child pornography to obtain restitution. A similar bill passed the Senate in 2015 but failed to pass the House of Representatives.

A 2014 Supreme Court decision in Paroline v. United States, 572 U. S. 1, held that while victims of child pornography are entitled to restitution, any individual defendant they sue is only liable for the harm caused by that one individual’s possession of the images.

“This decision was contrary to an amicus brief submitted by thirty-five state attorneys general urging the Court to allow full restitution to victims of child pornography,” stated the letter, in part.

The proposed law would seek to help victims by:

• Clarifying congressional intent that victims be fully compensated for all the harms resulting from every perpetrator who contributed to their trauma;

• Establishing a more meaningful definition of “full amount of a victim’s losses;”

• Clarifying restitution owed to victims;

• Establishing a process for victims to receive compensation from the Child Pornography Victims Reserve within the federal Crime Victims Fund and requiring judicial appointment of a guardian ad litem for victims of child pornography production;

• Allowing victims and their attorneys access to images in which they are depicted — which is crucial for victim identification, expert testimony, forensic review, treatment, and the prevention and prosecution of future crimes; and

• Requiring the Department of Justice to report on implementation within two years.

The letter was sent Tuesday by the National Association of Attorneys General to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia), and Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-New York), and can be read here.

 

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