Congress Moves Decisively to Pass the AVAA!!

Last Thursday, Representative Trey Gowdy [R-SC] introduced H.R. 6845, the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018. Co-sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte [R-VA], it is the long-anticipated companion bill to S. 2152 which was introduced by Senator Orin Hatch [R-UT] earlier this year.

Similar to the Senate bill, the House bill will accomplish the following:

  • Expresses Congress’ recognition of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children’s statement that child pornography harms are “psychologically intertwined” to address the Galan decision’s disaggregation requirement.
  • Establishes two categories of child pornography crimes subject to restitution: trafficking in child pornography (advertising, distribution, and possession) and child pornography production.
  • Victims of child pornography production will receive the full amount of their losses in restitution.
  • Courts must order restitution for victims of child pornography trafficking “in an amount that reflects the defendant’s relative role in the causal process that underlies the victim’s losses, but which is no less than $3,000.”
  • Once a victim has received the full amount of their losses, the liability of each defendant who is or has been ordered to pay restitution terminates.
  • The “full amount of a victim’s losses” includes “costs incurred, or that are reasonably projected to be incurred in the future, by the victim, as a proximate result of the offenses involving the victim, and in the case of trafficking in child pornography offenses, as a proximate result of all trafficking in child pornography offenses involving the same victim” (encompassing a victim’s aggregate harm).
  • Along with the standard categorical losses, victims can also receive restitution for “any other relevant losses incurred.”
  • Victims of child pornography trafficking are entitled to receive a onetime payment of $35,000 in defined monetary assistance which is indexed to inflation.
  • Attorney’s fees in defined monetary assistance claims are capped at 15%.
  • The court must assess defendants in child pornography cases to contribute to a newly established child pornography victims reserve fund.
  • Victims of child pornography trafficking enjoy the same priority in restitution payments as victims in other restitution statutes.
  • $10 million will be set aside annually, along with assessments paid into the reserve, to provide defined monetary assistance.
  • Child pornography victims will enjoy equal rights with criminal defendants to review the child pornography depicting them at a government facility or court for the purposes of furnishing expert testimony.
  • The Department of Justice must deliver a report to Congress within 2 years after passage about the Act’s implementation including an assessment of the funding levels for the Child Pornography Victims Reserve.
  • This is an excellent bill which is strongly supported by Amy, Vicky, and Andy. It improves on the Senate’s hard work where an amended version of S. 2152 will be considered this week. The House Bill is expected to pass by unanimous consent today tomorrow.

    1 Reply to "Congress Moves Decisively to Pass the AVAA!!"

    • Vicky
      September 25, 2018 (9:30 pm)

      Thank you to the many members of the Congress who have recognized that survivors of child pornography crimes deserve restitution from those who traffic in the images of the survivors’ abuse. We must break the cycle of child sexual abuse and support the children who face the longstanding and unique impacts that come from the distribution of the images of their abuse.

      Senator Hatch has long been at the forefront of this fight and I thank him sincerely as well and applaud the work of everyone in Congress, especially Congressman Gowdy and Chairman Goodlatte, coming together to provide for the children and young adults who are living every day the horrible images of the nightmare they endured as children still haunting them.

      This Bill finally gives tangible and certain redress to those who truly need it. It provides hope that there will be help and assistance for the long road of healing for those who are coming out of this seemingly insurmountable situation of ongoing trauma. The Bill puts the focus where it belongs—on the innocents, the children who have been victimized and who come before the court in need of assistance to support their recovery from the most horrific of crimes.

      Thank you!