Child porn and rape victim, 19, seeks restitution from downloaders

misty.jpg

Downloading a copy of "The Misty Series" is a felony. The girl whose sexual abuse began at age 4, and was documented in horrific detail in that child porn video series, is now 19. The pedophile uncle who raped her at age 8 and filmed the abuse is in jail. Now, the victim and her lawyer are now seeking monetary damages from every person who downloaded and sought pleasure from the internet videos that for her represent an inextinguishable, constantly circulating echo of the abuse. The victim demands that each person convicted of possessing even one "Misty" image pay her damages until her total claim of $3.4 million is met. John Schwartz reports in the New York Times:

In February, when the first judge arranged payment to Amy in a case in Connecticut, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, called the decision "highly questionable" on his blog and said it "stretches personal accountability to the breaking point." The judge in the case acknowledged, "We're dealing with a frontier here."

The issue is part of a larger debate over fairness in sentencing sex offenders. For years, lawmakers (and some voters) have reasoned that virtually no punishment was too severe for such criminals; even statutory limits on sentencing were often exceeded.

Now some courts have begun to push back, saying these heavy sentences are improper, and a new emphasis has arisen on making sex offenders pay monetary damages for their crimes. If such damages become widespread, experts say, it may make it easier to reach a consensus on measured sentencing.

Read more: Child Pornography, and an Issue of Restitution.

"Amy," as she is referenced in the article—not her real name—delivered a victim's impact statement. It is upsetting to read, and broke my heart. It's here: Victim impact statement of girl in Misty Series.

A related article in the Virginian-Pilot is here (A man who lived in Virginia Beach and was a member of the Shriners there was convicted of downloading "the Misty series.")

[image: "Amy." By Niko J. Kallianiotis for The New York Times]

Loading...