‘Misty Series’ Haunts Girl Long After Rape: 8-Year-Old Abused By Uncle Winning Restitution
Some judges have said restitution goes too far in punishing pedophiles whose only crime is to view photos, but Amy’s lawyer, James Marsh, disagrees, saying the brutality in the “secret society” of child pornography requires tough measures.
“This is not 13-year-olds in bras or sexting or 17-year-old girls gone wild — these are kids who are raped,” said Marsh, a New York City lawyer.
“In one notorious set of images, the father used to put a studded collar around his 6-year-old and wrote on her in what looked like blood, ‘I am Daddy’s little girl, rape me.’ He locked her in a dog cage,” he told ABCNews.com.
Marsh is now seeking restitution in 350 cases that involve photos of Amy, through automated filings to the United States attorneys handling the cases.
In 1995, Marsh helped update a federal law that gives victims the right to sue anyone who produces, distributes or possess their child sex abuse images. It now provides statutory damages of $150,000 for each violation of federal child pornography provisions and was incorporated into the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act and signed by President Bush 2006.
At the time, Marsh testified in Congress that social networking sites like MySpace and YouTube, as well as camera-enabled cell phones have “enabled and facilitated” child trafficking and the commercialization and distribution of child pornography.
A 2001 study of 400 inmates at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina concluded that offenders who were “merely collectors” of Internet child pornography were “significantly more likely than not to have sexually abused a child via a hands-on act.”
Amy’s lawyer insists the person who views the photos creates an incentive for violence against children.
Pornography “does not exist in a vacuum,” said Marsh. A “powerful, long-term collector” – with 100,000 to 200,000 images — can command others to commit sex crimes to obtain the images he wants.
“There is a misunderstanding of the crime, that it’s photos of girls in bathing suits running around the sprinkler,” said Marsh. “And people think pictures are not a big deal, it’s just another greedy lawyer coming to cash in. But they don’t understand the true nature of these criminal syndicates or the experience of the victim. For me, it’s a no-brainer.”