Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-17), along with co-leads Rep. Tom Cotton (R‑AK‑4), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX-14), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA-27), and Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA-4) introduced the bipartisan Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014, with the support of 69 House colleagues, to provide an effective restitution process for child pornography victims.
“Victims of child pornography deserve an effective restitution process to help alleviate the suffering they have endured. We must support the victims of these atrocious crimes and ensure that they receive what is entitled to them: full protection and compensation,” Rep. Cartwright said.
“Furthermore, we must hold perpetrators accountable for their involvement in this crime. It is impossible to measure or understand the psychological harm done by these types of crimes, which is why we need to work together to strengthen the voice of these victims, and help them rebuild their lives.”
On June 5, 2014, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals—in the first federal circuit court ruling since the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Paroline
in April—held that a child pornography defendant is not liable for a victim's lifetime losses. This order seriously undermines the ability of child pornography victims to recover full restitution from any defendant.
This unpublished order
in United States v. Wilson
is yet another critical reason why Congress must act now to pass the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014.
The Amy and Vicky Act restores Congressional intent that the “full amount of the victim’s losses” includes “lifetime” medical services relating to physical, psychiatric, or psychological care; “lifetime” physical and occupational therapy or rehabilitation; and “lifetime” lost income. These enumerated losses are intended to be “lifetime” aggregate losses.