A victim from rural Pennsylvania who goes by the pseudonym "Amy," for example, has received $231,102.28 from nine defendants so far, said her attorney, James M. Marsh. The money is paying for therapy for Amy, now 20, who lives with her parents and is on public assistance.
The attorney said his client is hoping to buy a house with some of the money, which would be a step forward for her. Seeking restitution has helped Amy become stronger, Marsh said.
"She really feels empowered by what is happening and that she is no longer a victim," Marsh said. "She is someone who has really taken control of her life."
Amy, whose uncle abused her on ...
New York attorney James Marsh pushed for a law Congress passed in 2006 that increased penalties for child pornography criminals and made it easier for victims to sue. Anderson filed the lawsuit under Masha's Law, named after one of Marsh's clients -- a girl adopted from Russia by a man in the U.S. who turned out to be a pedophile.
But Marsh himself has only used civil litigation on a limited basis, choosing instead to put pressure on federal prosecutors to seek restitution for victims in criminal cases.
Marsh said there are two main reasons lawsuits in child porn cases can be difficult. First, attorneys must file separate lawsuits if they want ...
James Marsh, an attorney who represented the young woman for which Masha's Law was named, said few lawsuits have been filed under it partly because few child pornography victims come forward. Also, jurisdictional issues can pose a problem. But he said Anderson's approach is novel.
"The real key to success here will be his ability to join all of these matters in Minnesota. If he can't do that, it will be a nightmare of epic proportions," Marsh said. "There are a lot of barriers to a successful litigation, but we definitely wish him good luck."
"Clearly some of the currently available drawings are obscene, and individuals have been prosecuted for downloading and possessing similar material," said James Marsh, an attorney who represents victims of child sexual exploitation.
The FBI has not commented on whether it's pursuing charges. But it could, said Marsh, who pointed to several legal precedents in which prosecutions have been made based on sexually explicit depictions of children similar to the images on Wikipedia.
"Wikipedia has an undisputable affirmative corporate responsibility to keep such material off their sites, which are almost universally available in elementary schools ...