Carol Hepburn Applauds Senators for Improved Child Porn Victims Law

May 12, 2014

May 7, 2014

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Seattle/Portland attorney Carol Hepburn said she is grateful to the U.S. Senators who introduced a new bill on restitution for the victims of child pornography. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chuck Shumer (K-N.Y.) wrote the legislation in response to the recent Supreme Court decision in Paroline v. United States. The Court said the existing restitution statute is not specific enough on setting damages for the victims.

The new legislation, the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act, is named for two child pornography victims who have been referred to by anonymous first names only in existing litigation. In separate floor speeches today, Senators Hatch and Schumer said the Act is aimed at providing a balanced restitution process for the victims and addressing the issues raised by the Court.

Hepburn is one of a small group of attorneys nationally who is active in litigation on behalf of the victims. Senator Hatch thanked her in his floor speech, describing her as a “tireless advocate.”

“Victims of child pornography suffer a unique kind of harm and deserve a unique restitution process, and the Amy and Vicky Act is that solution, “Hatch said. “…the Supreme Court made it clear that the ball was in Congress’ court in order to give child pornography victims the tools necessary to seek restitution from those responsible for perpetuating this heinous crime. The Amy and Vicky Act is that solution.”

Schumer referred to the Supreme Court decision, stating, “…the more widely viewed the pornographic image of a victim, and the more offenders there are, the more difficult ti is for the victim to recover for her anguish and her damages,” he said, “But there should not be safety in numbers. Senator Hatch and I, and our other cosponsors, will work hard to make sure that victims of these heinous of crimes get, at a minimum, what they are entitled to get – full restitution for the full harm caused by these terrible acts.”

Among the co-sponsors in Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

The lawmakers say the Amy and Vicky Act does three things that reflect the nature of the child pornography crimes: (1) it considers the total harm to the victim, including from individuals who may not yet have been identified: (2) it requires real and timely restitution: and, (3) it allows defendants who have contributed to the same victim’s harm to spread the restitution cost among themselves.

Categories: Blog, Portland Child Sex Abuse Lawyers, Sexual Abuse