Courts: Should child-porn victims get restitution?

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Every day, "Misty" finds out that another pedophile has been caught with images of her. He could be a pastor, a cop or a mechanic busted with pornographic pictures taken when she was 8 or 9 years old. In each case, another person is making her a victim again and again, said her attorney James Marsh.

In each instance -- now at 350 and growing -- Marsh and Misty are seeking more than $3 million in restitution to help make her whole. It doesn't matter if the offender has one photo or thousands, Marsh said. Each offender should be just as liable as the next to pay full restitution.

"Right now, I am tracking 850 defendants," Marsh said last week. "The statute calls for restitution. Clearly the intent of the statute is to benefit the victims."

Misty's attorney acknowledged that few defendants have millions of dollars, but he said that's not her problem. Under the idea of "joint and several liability," it would be up to the offenders to go after other offenders to recoup their money.

Marsh said he has won restitution settlements ranging from $5,000 to $150,000 in about a third of the cases where they have requested it. In Florida, a judge ordered $3.6 million in restitution. Another Florida judge ordered $3.4 million, Marsh said.

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Filed Under Child Pornography News Restitution 

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