News


Michigan State’s Nassar Settlement Could Set A Troubling First Amendment Precedent

But even if this condition will have little to no impact on the survivors, it’s both telling and troubling that MSU would even try to put this on the table. James Marsh, an attorney for victims of sexual abuse and assault and a member of CHILD USA’s independent commission looking into the institutional failures around the Nassar case, expressed his concern about this.“That a state institution [MSU] would politically silence victims and basically pay them to give up their First Amendment rights goes way beyond the current criticism about gag orders,” he told me ...

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Nassar bills expected to change regardless of MSU deal

The settlement agreement requiring victims to drop support of certain bills was “extraordinary” as it allows one branch of government to demand citizens not engage in advocacy protected by the First Amendment, said James Marsh, an attorney whose White Plains, New York Marsh Law Firm represents sexual abuse victims.“It’s like basically giving the residents of Flint a bottle of water in exchange for them not exercising their First Amendment rights to petition the Legislature,” said Marsh, whose firm tweeted about the MSU settlement.A University of Michigan ...

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Transparency needed in GCCC cheer coach probe

I read with interest your articles about the abrupt resignation of the cheerleading coach at GCCC, and allegations of the college’s years-long apathy in the face of multiple complaints by cheerleaders of sexual harassment.Title IX, the federal statute mandating equal opportunity in education, requires schools receiving federal aid to respond appropriately to reports of sexual harassment. Thus, the ultimate question: Did the college respond appropriately to multiple reports of sexual harassment?The Telegram’s stories provide much relevant information. But they ...

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Settlement reached between former professor, victims depicted in child porn

ERIE — An undisclosed settlement has been reached in the federal civil suit between a former award-winning college professor from Meadville convicted on child pornography charges and the eight victims depicted in the pornography authorities found on his computers.In December 2016, the victims, identified only by pseudonyms, filed a lawsuit against Kirk Nesset in U.S. District Court in Erie for statutory damages of $150,000 each plus compensatory and punitive damages.Katie M. Shipp, an attorney who represents the eight victims along with Hepbrurn, also declined ...

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James R. Marsh Appointed to Blue Ribbon Commission Examining the Larry Nassar Scandal

CHILD USA, the University of Pennsylvania-based think tank focused on child abuse and neglect, with $300,000 in funding from the Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD), today announced the establishment of an independent Blue Ribbon Commission to examine the institutional responses to sexual abuse by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. The announcement came at the Athletes and Abuse Symposium hosted at the University of Pennsylvania, where leading national experts on sports, law enforcement, child sexual abuse, and child development convened to examine the repeated abuse of athletes across the spectrum of sports and ages.

“Game Over: Commission to Protect Youth Athletes” led by Marci Hamilton, CEO of CHILD USA and Fox Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, will have 16 members, and will immediately engage in a fact-finding exercise, before conducting public hearings to bring greater light to what happened and what went wrong in reporting. The commission expects to release a full, public report, in the beginning of 2020 with the goal of preventing abuse in the future.

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Marsh Law Firm – Supporting Child Pornography Victims

Our firm co-sponsored this first-ever gathering of child pornography survivors who created this mandala of hope and resilience. Calling themselves the ‘Phoenix Ten,’ survivors shared their lifelong experiences and organized as a powerful force demanding change.

Survivors banded together to share experiences and create a force to challenge the inadequate responses to the prevalence of child sex abuse images on the Internet. One outcome of the retreat was the establishment of an action group focusing on bringing the collective voice of these victims to the international stage.

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Child sex abuse images matter

James Marsh is probably the USA’s leading lawyer when it comes to representing victims of child sex abuse where an image of the abuse has appeared online. He represented Amy in Amy v. Paroline. It went all the way up to the US Supreme Court. Marsh is quite clear. Victims want every copy or version of an image of their humiliation to be found and deleted as quickly as possible. Pending that, they want access to be restricted to the greatest extent achievable, again as quickly as possible. Knowing this is being done can be crucial to a victim’s prospects of recovery and getting back to any kind of normal life. It is reassuring evidence that the harm done to them is acknowledged, that every practical step is being taken to make things as right as they can be, that justice is being delivered.

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Victory in Congress!! House Passes Major Civil Reform for Child Victims 406-3

The House today passed legislation drafted by Senator Dianne Feinstein [D-CA] to require amateur athletics governing bodies like USA Gymnastics and other amateur sports organizations to report sex-abuse allegations immediately to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department.

The bill also reforms Masha's Law found at 18 U.S.C. 2255 by significantly enhancing federal civil remedies for victims of child pornography.

These long-sought critical reforms will empower victims of child pornography to hold offenders responsible not only in criminal court, but in federal civil court as well. Advocates for child pornography victims have been seeking these changes for almost 10 years. We congratulate Congress for passing significant law reform for Olympic and amateur athletes, and victims of child pornography, forced labor trafficking, child sex trafficking, federal sex abuse and interstate prostitution.

NOW IS THE TIME TO PASS THE AVAA! Congress must not and cannot rest until federal criminal restitution reform is finally enacted. Let's build on this victory to pass comprehensive reform for victims of child pornography and online exploitation.

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In Supporting the Gymnastics Victims, Judge Aquilina Got It Right

by Paul CassellRecently the country watched Michigan Judge Rosemarie Aquilina allow crime victims—dozens of them—to testify during the sentencing hearing of Olympics doctor, Larry Nassar. These victims spoke eloquently and emotionally about the terrible harm that Nassar had caused. After hearing from the victims, Judge Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison, to be served after completion of an already-imposed 60-year prison term. The lengthy sentence appears to have broad public approval as punishment that fits the crime. But a few legal commentat...

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Senate Passes AVAA by Unanimous Consent

After several sincere but ultimately failed attempts to pass legislation to simplify and streamline child pornography victim restitution in the federal courts, the Senate has once again demonstrated its commitment to children by ratifying the AVAA late last night by unanimous consent. The United States Senate came together in a bi-partisan coalition of 27 cosponsors, 12 Democrats and 15 Republicans, to do the right thing far from the spotlight, rhetoric, or Twitter feeds.

The real challenge remains the House of Representatives which has steadfastly blocked reform for the past four years.

Now is the time for advocates, victims, and their supporters, to encourage the House to quickly consider and pass Senate Bill 2152. Child pornography restitution reform is long overdue. Let's make 2018 the year when victims of childhood sexual abuse and online exploitation get the help and support they need. The Senate's right, left, and everyone in between has spoken decisively. Now it's up to the House to join them.

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