Federal courts struggle with tough new question: restitution for child porn victims

Los Angeles Times

Requests for restitution have picked up as more victims are identified - and as a couple of victims, including Amy, have hired attorneys, said Meg Garvin, executive director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute in Portland, Ore.

Hundreds of requests have been filed nationwide, most of them by Amy's attorney, James Marsh of New York. Marsh said that as recently as five years ago, restitution would have been impossible because victims wouldn't have known when someone was caught with an image of them. The Crime Victims Rights Act of 2004 set up a system for notifying the victims. Now, Marsh gets several notices a day on behalf of Amy.

Marsh, who declined to make Amy available for an interview, is seeking restitution for Amy in 350 cases nationwide. Each request is about $3.4 million. She won't get that amount in every case. But any sum collected would go toward that total to cover Amy's counseling, medical costs, future lost earnings and lawyer fees.

"Everyone is really grappling with this in good faith," said Marsh. "It's all over the place."

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Filed Under Child Pornography News Restitution 

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