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

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96 Responses to “Child porn and rape victim, 19, seeks restitution from downloaders”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ok, child porn is terrible and all that but penalizing people who never had any contact with the victim just for downloading? The chain of responsibility is getting streched pretty thin. So if I go to a website that shows a crime scene am I going to be charged with being an accessory?

    If they wanted to be clever the victim should copyright the video and then can use the ham-fisted copyright laws to go after people just like the RIAA.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think it is bizarre that many news stories are reporting this as “Victim from ‘The Misty Series’ speaks out” as if the whole world knows what this is. Of course, the first inclination of anyone reading the news and seeing something with which they are unfamiliar is “What the hell is the Misty Series?” and search for more information.

  3. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Once again, we let our emotions and desire for revenge cloud our judgment and nail sex offenders with damages and sentences far beyond what is warranted.

    Some of us have human feelings. Some of us are capable of empathy. If you were abducted and ass-raped and you knew that there were people sitting around jacking off to images of your torture, some of are capable of understanding that every moment of your life would be hell.

    The law doesn’t exist to uphold archetypal aspergoid principles. It exists to prevent and redress harm. And it very specifically takes intent and damages into consideration for that reason.

    • zikzak says:

      If you were [...] every moment of your life would be hell.

      I think it’s pretty obvious that being a victim of sexual abuse is incredibly traumatizing, and it should therefore be obvious that such victims deserve to be cared for and compensated in a similar way that other victims of really unpleasant stuff are (for example, if you get your arm cut off, society gives you free money and usually medical care for the rest of your life). I think it’s a better model to have society at large compensate these victims and make sure they’re taken care of, rather than playing an obsessive and increasingly tenuous blame game to figure out who should pay the damages.

      If that’s not happening, it’s a failure of our society’s ability to be compassionate and humane, not a failure of our justice system to draw questionable connections between crimes and victims.

  4. pKp says:

    Okay,

    First off, the victim statement you linked to is just heart-rending. That poor girl was broken into pieces, and she can’t put it behind her because the evidence is still on the cloud, even if it’s in parts of said cloud that you have to search a long time for to reach.

    Second : for people discussing the economics of child porn, I would suggest Wikileak’s “An Insight Into Child Porn”. It’s an anonymous description of this “business” by a guy who worked in it for years. It’s not very light reading – the guy is a unashamed pedophile himself – but it is very interesting. Wikileak is down atm, but here’s the google-cache version : http://66.102.9.132/search?q=cache:njOqhC_G_MwJ:ljsf.org/wiki/My_life_in_child_porn+wikileak+insight+into+chilp+porn&cd=1&hl=fr&ct=clnk&gl=fr&client=firefox-a. If you read French, there’s an excellent report based on the previous document and written by police officers and computer security specialist on why net-filtering is useless against child porn : http://www.numerama.com/magazine/14977-confession-d-un-pedophile-l-impossible-filtrage-du-web-pdf-disponible.html

    Third : The opinion of people who hunt child porn traffickers for a living (authors of the French report) is that hunting “consumers” is next to useless in stopping child porn. You’d have to get to the big guys, and they are not the producers, they’re the distributors. Guys like this girl’s uncle are the smallest fish in the pond ; the business of child porn is exactly that – a business, not done by amateurs.

    Fourth : however, I think that child abuse victims deserve all the help they can get. So I’m all for fining the people found with her pictures on their hard disk. Not sure if they deserve to go to jail for it ; they are sick people, and for all we know jacking off to such horrible filth is the only thing stopping them from acting on their fantasy.

    Sorry for the long, long rant.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Victimless crime? Are you kidding? Did you read her impact statement? Amy knows people are out there looking at and enjoying watching her being abused as a child, and it’s destroying her. Money can’t make it go away but at least the perpetrators are penalized for their actions and the victim is compensated for her pain and suffering.

  6. TheOceaneer says:

    @13 and others: I’m going to have to differ with you here. First of all, the downloaders of the pictures did not commit a criminal act AGAINST her — they just committed a criminal act (possession of child porn). The person that produced the material actually committed the criminal act AGAINST her.

    Secondly, I’m unclear as to the nature of the “injury” against her. I read the linked statement, and the “injury” seems to be the knowledge that these pictures are out there. Indeed, it is not even the knowledge that specific individuals have seen these pictures that is injurious, but rather the very existence of the pictures, and the possibility that essentially anyone could have seen them. So it is the existence of the pictures that is injurious — which leads us back to the guy that took the pictures again.

    Really stretching it, I suppose I could see ground for damages against a downloader if the downloader downloaded the pictures, called up the victim, and then said “I saw your pictures; ooga booga booga”. At least that would be intentional infliction of emotional distress, which is a thing that can be defined under the law. But if the victim is actively seeking out these people — that is, tracking down people who have seen these pictures, so that she can know that a specific individual has seen them, and thus be injured — isn’t she then actively seeking injury? That doesn’t strike me as the kind of thing that should be rewarded.

    My point (finally) is this: all “child porn” hysteria aside, this is just another case of an individual trying to get money from someone with deeper pockets than the person that ACTUALLY hurt them. The victim is obviously profoundly injured by her experience, but the person that owes her any sort of restitution for that injury is the person that committed the abuse. The people that downloaded her photos are clearly monsters, and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, but they did not, by any reasonable definition, INJURE HER. Indeed, she is completely unaware of their existence — until she actively seeks them out for the purpose of extorting money from them.

    • Brainspore says:

      @13 and others: I’m going to have to differ with you here. First of all, the downloaders of the pictures did not commit a criminal act AGAINST her — they just committed a criminal act (possession of child porn). The person that produced the material actually committed the criminal act AGAINST her.

      If downloading child porn is a “victimless” crime it shouldn’t be illegal. I submit that it is not, and that this girl is the victim.

      • TheOceaneer says:

        @Brainspore: I’d always assumed that child porn was illegal because it creates incentives for abusing children. This girl is not a “victim” of child porn, she’s a victim of sexual abuse. If she is a victim of child porn, what injury, exactly, did the viewers of said porn do to her?

        What if we remove the inflammatory nature of the crime? What if it became vogue to ambush a random person on the street, beat them, and then post the video on the internet. I’d wager that those videos would be fairly popular (as exhibit A, I submit “Jackass”). Would a person that downloaded those videos actually owe money to the victim of the beating? Would you say that the victim was a victim of “internet violence”? Does the person watching the video owe money to the victim of the beating — despite the fact that the victim has NO KNOWLEDGE of the watching? Indeed, can you be owed money for a specific act that you are completely unaware of?

        • Brainspore says:

          If she is a victim of child porn, what injury, exactly, did the viewers of said porn do to her?

          I could answer that question but you can find a much more meaningful response in the victim’s impact statement linked above. If you already read it and still believe that the continued distribution of this material is a victimless crime then I doubt anything I say could convince you otherwise.

  7. eZee says:

    Sad, but i dont see how anyones going to fess up to having seen any of those images… because people like me would only be too happy to take a baseball bat against the sickos.

  8. Ocker3 says:

    I reckon if you paid for the video, you materially contributed to the abuse of the child in the video, you supported the people who make/sell the child porn, they’re now more likely to make more, possibly using the same child. we jail and fine people for sending money to terrorists, right? why not the same treatment for people who horribly abuse and destroy the lives of children, often partly with a profit motive? Without paying customers, surely a lot less child porn would get made?

  9. JohnCJ says:

    @Antonius: The law is a very blunt instrument, it results in 18 year olds getting marked as sex offenders for life, even though their ages may differ by a month.

    The teen sex offender situation is on the extreme end of benign sex crimes. The child raper in the OP is at the other end.

    I may seem like a cold prick, but I would rather have an objective approach to a situation rather than let my emotions create a legislative hammer which bludgeons everyone equally.

  10. JohnCJ says:

    Ack! I just re-read.

    “The teen sex offender situation is on the extreme end of benign sex crimes. The child raper in the OP is at the other end.”

    should read:

    The teen sex offender situation is on the extreme benign end of sex crimes. The child raper in the OP is at the other end.

    (Word placement is VERY important)

  11. joeposts says:

    This should be a useful tool for prosecutors. I imagine the arm-twisting process will be easier. They can offer the defendant a choice – plead guilty, go to jail and pay a reduced amount for damages or nothing at all. Or they can play innocent and get slapped with hard time AND complete financial ruin once they’re convicted. And no voters will cry foul if people accused of being pedophiles take their own lives or end up living under a bridge, so it’s win win win. Unless you’ve been falsely accused, I suppose.

    • Brainspore says:

      Criminal prosecutors can’t control whether or not private parties seek civil damages, and frankly I think that is a good thing. Imagine the potential for corruption if you could offer kickbacks to your local DA for filing spurious felony charges.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What about people who are downloading her video for education or discussion as opposed to sexual gratification? What if the child is 5? 8? 16? 29? What if it’s an innocuous video, say of a child eating spaghetti or taking a bath- that was produced with sexual gratification in mind, and used for that, but she wasn’t sexually abused in person at all? And if she has some miracle of healing and forgiveness later in life, should she repay the money? What if she gets hypnotised and feels 37% better? Should she return 37% of the money? And how will paying her money make any of this go away or ease her pain? My heart aches for her, but I think she’s using the wrong tool for the job- money won’t salve her shattered spirit.

    On the other hand, justice and slippery ethical and distributive slopes set aside, why the hell not- I mean, what else has she got going for her for the forseeable future? She’s in too much pain to provide for herself or flourish or develop – maybey this money will make something easier or better somehow. Maybey that’s a good enough reason- it might make something, anything, better for her.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous | #11 & Brainspore said it well.

  14. GatoRanch says:

    Good for her. She will me traumatized for the remainder of her life so she deserves far more than that. No amount of money will give her a normal life but it will help her find peace of mind.

  15. Anonymous says:

    A lot of people commenting on this article have stated that viewing child pornography leads to the creation of more child abusers. I don’t know if that statement is really valid, and I find it similar to the old claim that ‘violence in movies/video games cause people to commit violent crimes.’

  16. Anonymous says:

    It’s ok for the government to persecute and fine people who download music and videos in order to secure profit major corporations but not if its in the interest of victims of heinous crimes.

  17. pentomino says:

    Wait, so the victim is notified every time someone is convicted of downloading those pictures? Sounds to me like that’s creating harm, even if she’s receiving money as a result. Indeed, in this economy, cashing in on her trauma could end up her primary source of income; what would that end up doing to her personality?

    It reminds me of the story of the drunk driver who caused a fatality, who was ordered to write a check, for one dollar per month, for the rest of his life. Is there anyone here who knows the veracity and the details of that story?

  18. Stooge says:

    There’s a telling quote from Amy’s lawyer in the article: “This is a lawyer’s dream”.

    I’m more than a little uncomfortable with lawyers in effect collecting royalties on kiddie porn. While evaluating whether a client is worth representing I think many might find it hard to restrain themselves from cutting to the chase and asking “What have I seen you in?”.

  19. RTM says:

    All legal discussion aside, I just want to let this poor girl know that she is not alone, to hang in there, get better on her own time, and stay close to those who can give her real understanding and love – like her parents. Those who would use or abuse you or choose not to respect you are not people you want to be with anyways, and you will find that there are many honest, trustworthy people who are just disgusted at what happened to you and wish you only the best for the rest of your life. Best wishes to you.

  20. middleclass says:

    I’m interested in how this intersects with other cases. For instance, if someone else takes a picture of me and sends it round the internet, am I entitled to damages from everyone who views it if I happen to be distressed by the knowledge of its existence?

    Many owners of large buildings are distressed that people create and share photos of these buildings on the (unlikely but not absurd) grounds that they will fall into the hands of TERRORISTS! Are people who view such photos liable?

    • Brainspore says:

      I’m interested in how this intersects with other cases. For instance, if someone else takes a picture of me and sends it round the internet, am I entitled to damages from everyone who views it if I happen to be distressed by the knowledge of its existence?

      Is it already against the law to distribute photos of you? Do you have a legally protected expectation of privacy protecting you from people taking your photo in public? Would the people viewing your picture have to be going out of their way to find it? If the answer to any of those questions is “no” then the situations don’t really compare.

    • Stooge says:

      middleclass, your analogy fails because there’s nothing illegal about viewing pictures of you, and even if there were, it’s not likely that the viewer could know it was illegal just by seeing the picture.

      Viewing child pornography is a crime unless you report it, in which case the crime you’re reporting is distribution of child pornography. Just as is the case with witnessing any other crime, you may be liable if you don’t intervene.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This seems less onerous than the penalties people get for illegally downloading songs.

    Is a copy of “My Humps” really more irreplaceable than a child’s innocence?

  22. Cheaplazymom says:

    To those who claim that the only damage done was by the uncle who raped her and that supplying an audience with material was not a motivating factor, I ask the simple question: why did he photograph and videotape the abuse? How did it end up all over the web? How is it that over 800 people have been arrested with possession of the photos and videos? Clearly the desire to produce and share pornography was part of the plan. Plenty of children are raped and molested without becoming famous stars of internet porn.

    I think “Amy” is doing whatever she can to try to break the chain. She fears that people who download and get off on her abuse may use those images as a spring board to their own molestation of children– either as inspiration or to show some other little girl that it’s OK to participate. I saw the restitution as a way to compel the convicted downloaders to see the girl “Misty” as a human being who was been tragically wronged. I think that many child abusers and consumers of child pornography believe that deep down the kid likes it and wants it. In this way they can justify the abuse. The internet makes it too easy to consume this material, too easy to write off the victim. Perhaps paying restitution to an emotionally damaged 18 year old will get some of these creeps to think twice before they take pleasure in someone else’s pain.

  23. blueelm says:

    Legally sound or not I really do like it poetically. You see in taking money for that image herself she is in a way taking control of the image and owning it. She’s saying almost something like you don’t have *rights* to that image.

    It’s definitely interesting from that angle imo.

  24. Urinal Gum says:

    I think the punishment should fit the crime for those who downloaded. I suggest that the judge throw the downloaders in prison, then the prison guards will video tape them being raped. These tapes will then be given to the victim for whatever purposes she deems fit (i.e. destroying any future career the downloader may have.) Of course, it would be more fair to send the downloader back in time to when he was 8 years old, but that leads to many scientific and moral problems.

    /children shouldn’t be corrupted: http://www.urinalgum.com/?p=491

  25. Nadreck says:

    To put this in another context, suppose that a TV station started up a show called “America’s Funniest Terrorist Videos” and paid, no questions asked, for videos of bombings and the like. Now, of course, there will be bombings and random shootings anyway so what would people think about quadriplegic victims of a bombing that was a ratings hit suing the TV station?

    Personally, I’m in favour of “user pays” taxation and particularly in cases like this.

  26. LABDUDE2 says:

    I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THE LEGALITIES, BUT THIS WOULD BE ONE MORE WAY TO SHAME THESE PEOPLE. I say she takes all the info collected and post it on a web site after she is reasonably sure she has got the right people. I hope she uses the money to help herself, she deserves better. Her uncle deserves a painful death.

  27. Cheaplazymom says:

    Just a point of clarification for those who maybe didn’t read the article all the way through. The damages being sought are through restitution in the penalty phase of a criminal proceeding. When an offender is arrested with images from the “Misty” series on their hard drive, the victim is notified (over 800 of them!). Her lawyer sends her statement and a request for restitution to the prosecutor who decides to bring it to the judge during sentencing. The judge then decides whether or not to add damages and specifies the amount. Some do, many don’t. Beyond collecting some money to defray the victim’s expenses, the process appears to bring her voice into the courtroom and in some small way forces the downloader to confront the damage caused by child pornography.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think the extent of distribution is a major factor in the production of completely taboo and illegal material. I think child pornographers would continue at the same pace whether they shared it with five or five million people.

    Also, if we set a precedent that we can seek damages from people who enjoy–even benefit from–tragedy who played no role in the tragedy itself we could eventually see a catastrophic effect on speech. For example, the OJ Simpson murders. ALL of America’s major media exploited the hell out of that case for years. Their ratings soared, their profits went up. And the public relished every single moment. You can make a strong case that millions benefited from the tragedy suffered by Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

    But are they liable for any damages? (And in response to some previous arguments, are they somehow contributing to the creation of tragedy? Clearly, some people commit crimes just for the attention–particularly terrorists. So is it the media’s fault?) It is difficult enough to recover from tragedy, but it becomes impossible when you become famous for it. You can never hide, you can never start over and reclaim a normal life.

    If we must allow punishment for every benefit of tragedy, then news outlets would–at some point–be guilty too. And then they would stop or restrict their reporting at some point.

    I don’t know where that line is, but I’m sure someone will push to find it.

  29. spine_injury says:

    Traci Lords will soon be the richest person in Hollywood…

    I understand the premise, but payment would legitimize the whole racket, for her as well as other people in her situation…as well as de-legitimize the same for people subjected to the same, but pre-internet/non-distributed video.

    Psychotic parents would put their children in the position to be used such that they could receive big money.

    The fact is, something bad happened. It’s not uncommon. Child predators should be dealt with just like racism, car wrecks, homophobia, and anything else violent–eliminate as best we can. Paying people for victimization is a bad idea. If it’s a good idea, then I’m owed big bucks for being bullied through middle and high school.

  30. vivaelamor says:

    First, some suggested reading: http://mirror.wikileaks.info/wiki/An_insight_into_child_porn/index.html

    Whether or not that article is genuine in some of it claims, it offers an important perspective on the issue. Consider: child porn is categorised in a large part on arbitrary age limits and those limits vary from country to country. The criteria for statutory rape is similarly reliant on the metric of age and is perhaps even more varied between countries. We have already started to see the fallout of strict enforcement of such rules with that of ‘sexting’.

    The argument that downloading child porn is inherently harmful has to have a certain distinction for it to be valid, that there is a consistent causal relationship between the acquisition of the material and the harm caused to any victims of the creation. I am unaware of any studies done so far that haven’t been limited to the that of commercially acquired material. There would seem to be a stronger case that the availability of free material lowers the demand for commercially available material.

    This of course leaves the issue of whether there is a non commercial causal link (and there may be one of validation), but as someone has already pointed out we do not consider damages against people possessing footage of tragedies for their own amusement, even if those tragedies are crimes such as murder.

    My personal opinion is that those who are really concerned about these issues should be crowd sourcing the freely available content to try and track down the victims so that actual harm can be stopped. Except that would be illegal. It is perhaps tragic that under the guise of protecting victims, authorities have taken away the power of the people to directly help those victims and seemingly concentrated their own efforts on prosecuting people who have no proven link to the crimes in question.

    Those that are worried about exposure to such material and think the whole subject is sick? Welcome to the real world, free speech already blesses people with the freedom to communicate pretty much any fantasy they care to entertain; if that is so abhorant then you should ban 4chan and asstr. The demonising of those who fantasise does nothing to lessen the actual harm caused by people who commit acts of abuse and the denial of the evidence of such abuse seems akin to looking the other way.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I don’t really consider this a victimless crime like some other posters do. If there were no people trading and viewing child pornography there would be much less demand. Because of this these viewers are creating victims. Ultimately child pornography is a crime and anybody who views it is a criminal. Therefore they should be held liable for their crimes including financial compensation to the victim.

  32. Ugly Canuck says:

    If this very sympathetic and horribly wronged young lady should win this case, some will seek to use this as a precedent for the expansion of damages that the RIAA and MPAA may legally pursue downloaders for.

    This is not a criminal case: nor are the vast majority of copyright infringements.
    This is not a copyrights case.

    This case seeks a novel and radical increase, an unprecedented (so to speak) increase, in both the scope of behaviors and in their remoteness from the plaintiff (or “victim”, huh?) in space-time, which may as a result render one liable to monetary damages to the person so claiming.
    Leaving aside for the moment the manner in which the amount of the sum ought to be calculated….the uncertainty, also present in MPAA & RIAA claims of damages….

    The RIAA and MPAA are licking their chops over the potentials of this change to the Law of Damages, I tell ya.

  33. Loren says:

    I’m going to take a rather unpopular viewpoint here:

    I don’t see that those viewing the material have harmed her. The only legitimate argument against mere possession of child porn I can see is the matter of encouraging it’s creation–and if the person who created it has already been punished this can hardly be a motive.

    Sure, anyone who wants to see an 8 year old raped has something seriously wrong upstairs. Does criminalizing possession of a film of this benefit society, though? I’m not aware of any research on the topic but there has been plenty of research on the effects of adult porn on society: Sex crimes drop. Why should we expect a different result when it’s kiddie porn?

    The reality is that porn viewing generally leads to orgasm and at least a temporary removal of the desire to actually commit the acts depicted. (And this is why lab studies produce the opposite result–the porn viewing in the lab generally does not lead to orgasm.)

    Finally, as to whether she should get money from them: While I certainly believe she deserves compensation I don’t see how the downloaders owe her anything unless the material was originally sold. Just because we can identify someone with some sort of link to the offense doesn’t mean they should pay compensation. If the material was distributed free then downloading it was not theft and nothing is owed.

    • blueelm says:

      The thing with child porn though is that it’s not just like nice child rapists are posting their hobby pics and innocent browsers are downloading them. People are seeking and even making requests for what they like, and feel especially entitled to do so. There are people who will find a child, or use their own, to satisfy a friend by providing the video. For instance, some people want to see children engaged in oral sex with each other. The adults in question discuss for a while how to go about getting this. The one with the kids sets it up, films it, and distributes it to the people who asked for that. Maybe they buy a few hours from a woman who is willing to sell her kids for sex, maybe they just use their niece or nephew. It doesn’t matter, and they can always justify it because the kid “likes it” even if all else fails.

      No, I’m sorry, but there is very little comparison between the culture surrounding the making and distribution of child porn and the culture surrounding pirated pop songs.

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        Not my point blueelm: this case serves as a precedent to increase the reach of a claim for damages: it’s a civil case, so the Government does not even have a say.

        The RIAA & MPAA need not prove anything about “culture” to use it to increase the scope of damages they can claim for by analogy to this case: if anything, their claims for damages would be stronger as being more direct than this young lady’s: if she succeeds in her claim, they will succeed in adapting it to their cases.

        You may mark my words, if you like.

  34. Anonymous says:

    “Is the child harmed by someone looking at a picture of them? Dunno. I’m inclined to say no, but I don’t know very much about the situation of victims of child abuse, so I could potentially see it the other way.”

    Okay, think about it like this. You’re the little girl who has been seen my pedophiles all over the world. You get older. Would the recognize you on the street? Or when you are handing them your resume for that office job? How can a girl like this ever lead a “normal” life after this?

  35. blueelm says:

    Hmmm… isn’t the point to remove people from contact with the people in society they hurt? So what good is paying off your victims when there’s always another little girl you can rape?

  36. _OM_ says:

    “If people did not create a market for child porn by viewing it, people would not supply the porn by performing the abuse…”

    …If only that were the case. The sick bastards would still be committing their sick acts upon children, only there would be less evidence of what they did.

  37. zikzak says:

    If it can be demonstrated to the court that the downloaders assisted or played a supporting role in the abuse of this person, it should be a clear-cut case. Obviously you have to compensate people who you’ve committed crime against.

    I guess the central question is whether looking at/posessing pornography of children is a victimless crime or not. Is the child harmed by someone looking at a picture of them? Dunno. I’m inclined to say no, but I don’t know very much about the situation of victims of child abuse, so I could potentially see it the other way.

    • Anonymous says:

      By looking at child pornography, you are created a market for child pornography. If no one looked at it, would there be sites to distribute it? By looking at “the Misty series” these offenders created a market for the abuse that “Amy” was on the receiving end. Therefore, financial restitution is the very least these scum of the earth should be subjected to.

      Simple logic: If consenting adults get paid for participating in adult pornography, then victims of rape in child pornography deserve restitution.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t believe it is a victimless crime at all. The only reason child pornography even exists is because people are willing to pay for it-whether or not they are directly harming someone, they are contributing to victimization.
      The people that downloaded this “Misty” series advocated her abuse with their money. I’d call that aiding and abetting, even after the fact.

    • blueelm says:

      Well actually it is a violation. You are forcing some one who does not consent to be pictured into pictured. I would argue that it does DEFINITELY hurt the victim (imagine if these were consensual pictures from a modeling shoot that violated the terms of the modeling contract. There would be a clear lawsuit there), but that the question here is to what extent the viewers/downloaders are responsible for that. However it is obviously not a victimless crime when one is seeking out and consuming the exploitation of a victim.

      It’s hard, but if you find counterfeit money and spend it or stolen money and spend it you may be held some what liable for that action. I think it is more like that perhaps then if you, say, watch a video of a robbery. That being said I know that victims of other violent crimes some times try very hard to keep from entering that kind of circulation.

      I do think though, that if people are going to download porn of a little girl being raped… not to mention paying for it… they ought to at least be paying the model who’s work was exploited for that.

      So I guess the question is how much money would you take for some one to screw your little girl?

    • apoxia says:

      Perhaps you haven’t thought much about the subject, but I find it concerning that you think viewing child porn may be a victimless crime.

      If people did not create a market for child porn by viewing it, people would not supply the porn by performing the abuse (or at least one would expect there would be a large reduction in it).

      People are convicted often for possessing child porn. The law (at least in NZ) sees possessing child porn as a serious offence.

      • zikzak says:

        if people did not create a market for child porn by viewing it, people would not supply the porn by performing the abuse (or at least one would expect there would be a large reduction in it).

        This is possible, but I’m reluctant to take it as given. First of all, what is the motivation of the producer of child pornography? Is it to make money selling the images? Is it to get lots of hits on their blog? Or is it just the compulsion of an unhinged person – a deeply personal act motivated by deep psychological problems? If it’s the former, then you’re right. But I’m more inclined to think it’s the latter. Put another way, I seriously doubt that if we reduced instances of people looking at or possessing child porn by 50%, we’d see a 50% drop in the sexual abuse of children for pornographic purposes. Even if we reduced viewing of it by 95%, I suspect most people who were sick enough to produce child porn would unfortunately still be doing it. If I’m right, then focusing efforts on suppressing possession of child porn is a waste of effort which should instead be directed towards catching and/or preventing abuse.

        It seems like the argument is basically “By downloading the images, you’re giving the criminal attention, and by giving them attention, you encourage them to commit crimes, so you’re responsible for their crimes.” I think that this approach has some validity on a moral level (i.e. it is wrong to do this and people should choose not to), but I’m very leery of a legal system which accepts the assumption that doing something as vague and non-explicit as viewing an image can be considered supporting a crime. Primarily because this kind of legal framework can then be easily transferred onto other crimes. After all, downloading footage of an illegal protest action could definitely be considered encouraging the criminal acts depicted.

        • Brainspore says:

          Even if that argument has merit it doesn’t address the assertion that the continued distribution of said illegal material represents an ongoing violation of the victim’s civil rights.

    • Tynam says:

      While blueelm’s being a little crude there, he has a point. Somebody who knowingly downloads videos/pictures of child sex abuse is encouraging the abuser. Economics 101: If you go to the effort of posting anything online, you’re getting something in return – cash, reputation, emotional satisfaction from the social interaction.

      (Would any of us be bothering to post here if we knew nobody was going to read it? I wouldn’t. If Cory keeps posting pictures of unicorns, and we keep saying thanks and looking at them and following the links to download more unicorn pictures, then yes we are partly responsible for the ensuing unicorn-posting habit. People behave, in large part, how other people expect them to.)

      IANAL: If I download a video of an 8-year-old being abused and don’t do anything about it, am I an accessory after the fact? I’m not just aware of but involved in a major offence and doing nothing to prevent it. I’d say I was – morally, if not legally. (This is why “Receiving Stolen Goods” is a crime, separate from theft, although you shouldn’t get prosecuted for it unless the police think you did it knowingly. And what was stolen from ‘Amy’ was more important than any mere property.)

      I’m normally head of the “child abuses are the excuse for writing bad laws” crowd. But I think the judge has a point here. The net has an easily noticed detachment effect; we write and act as if the people at the other end of the line weren’t quite as real as the ones we meet in the flesh. It’s natural, but dangerous. A future net-based society has got to develop some ways to make us take responsibility for the effect of our actions on people we never met. I don’t know if this is the answer – but it’s a reasonable first experiment.

  38. Anonymous says:

    As revolted as I am at this whole story, from a purely rational standpoint I have to state that the viewers of the recordings are not truly at fault. They are guilty of possession of the illegal footage, of course, as well as any moralistic transgressions they made via that footage, but the incident itself is isolated to only those directly involved. The viewers are merely the periphery.

    How many people on BoingBoing itself have watched videos of terrible accidents, or of tradgedies? Surely a reasonable percentage of those viewers experienced Schadenfreude at terrible events, some of which were criminal, others which were simply cruel or inhumane, and some which were both. Yet no one insists that people who laugh at or cynically enjoy a video of people being harmed by stupidity or crime should pay any restitution. And why would someone insist that? The viewers are in no way responsible for the event itself.

    We can decry and condemn those who possess recordings of this horror, but they honestly had nothing to do with it. The only legal ramifications that should fall upon them should be those which apply to their sole crimes of possession of the recordings. To add further punitive action is not rational or moral, and should not be legally possible.

    ~D. Walker

  39. Anonymous says:

    While I’m glad Boing Boing posted this and I find the information extremely interesting I’m a little bummed knowing that there will be some (given how large the site is) who will seek out and download the series :(

  40. hymie says:

    Laws against child pornography violate free speech rights, but they are justified under the assumption that if the pornography were legal even though the depicted acts were not, it would encourage more such illegal acts to take place in order to have them recorded for sale.

    However, persons depicted in child pornography are not harmed by each individual who views a copy of it. They may feel harmed in a general sense knowing that it is being seen, but they cannot know of any particular individual who is seeing it. Therefore, they are not entitled to individual restitution from such viewers, regardless of how society chooses to punish them.

    • Anonymous says:

      The recurrent argument in these comments, that child pornography should be outlawed because it might encourage people to rape children, can be extended to outlawing stories of any crime, from murder to jaywalking. There is no merit to the argument.

  41. Anonymous says:

    While people watching haven’t touched a child in any way, they still support the harm done to a child by creating a demand for it and paying for it. They are driving the market for the molestation and rape of REAL children around the world.

  42. Gutierrez says:

    “Some experts argue that forcing payment from people who do not produce such images but only possess them goes too far.”

    What if that was copyrighted material like say music or movies and not illegal child porn?

    And keep in mind in the united states possession of such images is in fact illegal:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/1466A.html

    So if you a are found guilty of this crime involving images of a certain person, should they be allowed to place civil charges against you? I would think it would depend on the circumstance.

    • Anonymous says:

      “…Some experts argue that forcing payment from people who do not produce such images but only possess them goes too far.

      What if that was copyrighted material like say music or movies and not illegal child porn?…”

      I didn’t need convincing, but the above nails it, IMHO. I suspect that those who question the seeking of damages from the possessors of the stated material have never knowingly known someone who was sexually abused as a child.

      Put your sister, daughter, aunt etc. in her shoes and really think about it. It’s something one doesn’t just ‘get over’, it’s with you for life, and in very insidious ways. It’s a no-brainer for me.

  43. sloverlord says:

    I’m a little confused. Wouldn’t anyone paying the damages immediately be charged with possession of child pornography? How to they plan on finding every person who has bought/downloaded something which is illegal to posses?

    • Chevan says:

      They’re not starting an active search for people who downloaded that specific set of pictures. They’re creating a system where people who are found guilty of possession by the normal methods and who also had copies of that set of photos will owe damages to the girl.

      It’s kind of an after-the-fact charge.

  44. Gutierrez says:

    Amendmant to my post:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002252—A000-.html

    “(f) Civil Remedies.—
    (1) In general.— Any person aggrieved by reason of the conduct prohibited under subsection (a) or (b) or section 1466A may commence a civil action for the relief set forth in paragraph (2).
    (2) Relief.— In any action commenced in accordance with paragraph (1), the court may award appropriate relief, including—
    (A) temporary, preliminary, or permanent injunctive relief;
    (B) compensatory and punitive damages; and
    (C) the costs of the civil action and reasonable fees for attorneys and expert witnesses.”

    “(a) Any person who—

    (2) knowingly receives or distributes—
    (A) any child pornography that has been mailed, or using any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce shipped or transported in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce by any means, including by computer; or
    (B) any material that contains child pornography that has been mailed, or using any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce shipped or transported in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce by any means, including by computer;”

    So purchase of images of her is clear cut. Possessing them, a stretch but possible to try and set a precedent for.

  45. Anonymous says:

    I think any person who downloads such pornography should be liable; a) because they want to look at children being raped b) because that desire creates a market, which then increases the possibility that children will be abused and c) because any sexual assault victim would obviously prefer to put their ordeal behind them and by purchasing this illegal pornography they are perpetuating this poor girl’s ordeal.

  46. cymk says:

    Its a tragedy, what happened to this girl, and I hope the perp rots in prison, but this action to sue possessors of the illegal images of her is going a little far in my opinion. Last I checked, it was the job of law enforcement officers to find and prosecute people who possess images of her and other victims; its not the job of a victim to seek civil punishment for actual crimes. This also raises another problem, if she succeeds and sues people who possess pictures of her, does double jeopardy, prevent the law enforcement from prosecuting them for possession criminally?

    I hope she finds closure in all of this, whether she succeeds or not.

    • bwcbwc says:

      Not double jeopardy. If you get arrested for shoplifting, many retailers in the US will come after you for civil damages. Double jeopardy is two criminal charges for the same act.

      If they only go after criminal arrestees/convicts I can see this as reasonable. If they start a witch hunt requesting their own copies of server logs from ISPs and stuff, that’s overkill.

    • sirdook says:

      @cymk

      If you’re going to play at being a lawyer, you should learn to more carefully read the post AND the wikipedia entry you linked to. If you did, you’d already know that double jeopardy doesn’t apply here.

      As per the article she is seeking compensation from “each person convicted of possessing.” Thus this applies only to people who have already been criminally convicted. And, as per the “Different Legal Standards” section of the wikipedia article, double jeopardy doesn’t apply when moving from a criminal charge to a civil action (suing = civil action).

    • EvilSpirit says:

      Legally speaking, you’re 100% wrong, cymk. It is the job of law enforcement to prosecute crimes, and *also* the right of victims to seek civil damages for harm against them. This does not legally constitute double jeopardy, which only refers to repeated criminal prosecution for the same offense.

      • Brainspore says:

        Like many people it sounds like cmyk doesn’t seem to understand how (or why) civil cases and criminal cases are handled through legally distinct channels. There are plenty of good reasons for this, for such as:

        1. There should never be a profit motive for bringing criminal charges. In the interest of justice, nobody should be able to directly profit from charging another person with a felony.

        2. In a criminal trial the defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty. If civil trials were held to this standard of proof it would be nearly impossible to sue anybody for wronging you.

        3. At the end of the day civil trials come down to issues of property. Do I deserve something from you because you stole from me or you caused me some other form of harm? If the court makes an erroneous decision property can later be repaid. Years spent in prison (or a life ended in the electric chair) cannot, which is why criminal trials are held to a higher standard of proof.

        • peterbruells says:

          @BrainSpore I have to respectfully disagree. As an European, I get probably not a full picture about the cases in the U.S. (as they aren’t important for me to follow themin U.S. publication), but I was under the impression that even if someone has been found not guilty by a criminal court, her can be totally and utterly get ruined in a civil suit about the same circumstances. At least I think that’s what happend in the O.J. Simpsons case.

          At the very least, civil retribution for criminal wrongdoing should be tied to the criminal case.

          Regarding your point no 2. No, there’s lots of room for civil cases. Contract law and the like are all totally civil cases.

          • EvilSpirit says:

            “At the very least, civil retribution for criminal wrongdoing should be tied to the criminal case.”

            So, if I cause harm to someone, that’s held to the standard of evidence of a civil case, but if I *also* commit a crime that cannot be succesfully prosecuted against me, I’m protected from civil liability?

            That’s f’d up.

    • Architexas says:

      I think she’s also seeking restitution in tandem with the criminal cases, as are petitioning the judges to consider her claim of restitution as part of the sentencing phase (although I could have misread the article), which is why individual judges can refuse to consider the request for restitution.

  47. Antinous / Moderator says:

    While blueelm’s being a little crude there, he has a point.

    I believe that would be ‘she’.

    Therefore, they are not entitled to individual restitution from such viewers, regardless of how society chooses to punish them.

    Committing a felony that’s predicated on the commission of another felony can make you liable for the consequences of both crimes. eg – felony murder. A court could construe that as cause for restitution.

    • blueelm says:

      Oh and yeah, blueelm is female fwiw.

      • Tynam says:

        Oh and yeah, blueelm is female fwiw.

        Tynam says: Oops, sorry.

        To return to the subject:

        vivaelamo:

        There would seem to be a stronger case that the availability of free material lowers the demand for commercially available material.

        This blog is probably one of the worst places in the world to make that claim; second only to EFF HQ! It’s been reasonably established – not least by Cory – that free availability of books or music increases sales; why wouldn’t that be all the more true in such a furtive market? It’s not like they can advertise, after all.

        But I shouldn’t speculate, when we can have facts: I believe there are cases of child abusers committing their crimes to order, at the request of paedophiles elsewhere who wanted to see the pics. (The NBC Connecticut link has a paragraph implying that it happened in this case specifically. Anyone who knows the better than I want to chime in on this?)

        • vivaelamor says:

          Tynam, I would hope you can draw a distinction between a legal market and illegal market. I accept the laws regarding markets work for both legal and illegal goods but the factors involved are not the same. For example: file sharing would not appear to be very good advertising to those looking to buy child porn, after all why would you trust contact with someone who has leaked evidence of their crimes over the internet. In legal commerce it is a simple decision of ‘do I want to give this person my money’.

          Related to that you hit the nub of the issue, the community involved. Those paying directly for specific material are commissioning the crime and liable in the same way that hiring a hit man makes you a murderer. Aiding and abetting people involved in the production would also be liable under equivalent laws. There are certainly plenty of people involved in such things who should be in jail. The idea that those sharing the evidence of the crimes should be in jail apart from anything else denies the current state of technology, which makes it practical to share information of any sort without ever being caught if the will is there to take relatively simple precautions.

          • Tynam says:

            Tynam, I would hope you can draw a distinction between a legal market and illegal market…

            Certainly the economic factors are different for legal and illegal acts; “risk of getting caught” is one of them. I intended file sharing to be an analogy not an example; clearly paedophiles use methods more restricted than “just put everything on a torrent”. Nevertheless, child porn is traded online, so clearly paedophiles can be willing to do so – despite the clear fact that any online sharing is a large additional risk. Why would they “trust contact with someone who has leaked evidence of their crimes”? Same reason any other criminal trusts an uncertain partner: they value the results more highly than the risk of exposure. (That criminals make this mistake is one of the major reasons they get caught at all.)

            To reply to Loren:

            The only legitimate argument against mere possession of child porn I can see is the matter of encouraging it’s creation

            I agree completely; this is the only social good that could possibly justify the censorship…

            and if the person who created it has already been punished this can hardly be a motive.

            …and yet I think you’re wrong here. There are, after all, other cases where incitement (or your local legal equivalent) is a crime in itself. It’s well established that size of sentence is not by itself much of a deterrent; the thought that “I’ll get a longer sentence if I’m caught” will certainly not deter a paedophile from posting the pics. (It didn’t in this case!)

            pKp: Thanks for the always-welcome injection of facts into an emotional topic.

            I concur that hunting “consumers” is next to useless in stopping child porn, as a matter of policing. But then, this isn’t really a policing issue; it’s a matter of compensation. That it’s not very effective to hunt the consumers is true; it’s not very efficient to hunt lots of types of crime, but that’s no reason to deny compensation in the rare cases where they are caught.

            To those who say the individuals with the pictures have done no further harm, because the crime’s already been committed, I say: Can there be any doubt that the set of all people with the pictures, collectively as a group, have done and are doing this girl great harm?
            As a group, many of them were complicit in the original offence (after all, they knew and didn’t stop it!)
            She gets reminded – repeatedly, month after month – every time they catch one.

            I disagree that there’s no causal link between them – they’re using her, personal, pictures, obtained illegally. It would certainly disturb and upset me, and I’m a comparatively confident adult male with enormous ability to defend myself, not an abuse survivor.

            To say that no further harm is caused is also to say that reputation has no value. The internet has greatly increased – not decreased – the value of my reputation among total strangers whose actions I’ll never know about.

            (A comparison question to help decide where I stand: Say somebody passes naked pictures of me to everyone on this forum, so you can all laugh / jerk off / whatever while you’re reading my posts. I never find out about it. Has any harm been done to me? There’s certainly plenty of room for debate, but I’d say there has. It’s not a great analogy; best I could do off the top of my head. Anyone with a clearer hypothetical, please insert it here.)

  48. Anonymous says:

    Good for you Amy! How amazing to see a victim of child sexual abuse having the strength of character to stand up and demand those pieces of her childhood back that were so viciously stolen from her. Every time one of these images is viewed it is a repeat of the abuse on the child *every time*. Every single person who downloaded these images is guilty of the abuse of that child and every other child being abused. If there was no demand for these types of images there would be less abuse of children – many of these people abuse on demand for money and exploit, destroy and kill their children for this purpose. The people who download the images should be arrested, charged and fined a huge sum of money that should be paid directly to the victim.

  49. nanuq says:

    Basically, it’s a matter of criminal compensation. The downloaders injured the girl in the course of committing a criminal act against her(downloading and possessing child pornography). There are certainly legal precedents.

  50. AnneH says:

    Today’s “Savage Love” – (text NSFW, adult content)-
    http://www.avclub.com/articles/february-3-2010,37817/
    - is relevant. A non-offender pedophile writes in asking for help. What is good is that he realizes he has a problem, and that he needs help. He’s not in denial, unlike those who downloaded child rape porn.

    If it takes serious criminal AND financial penalties for the offenders to break out of their denial, realize that they have a problem and that they need help, I say so be it. Sometimes a heavy hand is necessary to effectively address the problem.

    Denial is a powerful obstacle. Sometimes it takes drastic measures to break through and force people to do the right thing. My state has laws that penalize parents who don’t pay child support, as well as adults that furnish alcohol to minors, with loss of state issued licenses – driving, professional, etc. They are proven effective deterrents.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry you are a victim, but you basically crucified my 16 yr old son for 7 months. He bought used hardware from a resale shop and not everything had been erased from it including yer unfortunate experience as a victim. He resold it a few months later and he got blamed for it. The police came to our house and confiscted everything, cameras, home movies, you name it they took it. It took 7 months to prove he hadn’t downloaded anything or even looked at it. I hope you get yer money out of it and it makes you happy. But if I were to sue the resale shop and the police authorities for the anguish that you put my son and my family thru it would be for the principle of the matter and then I would donate the money back to you. And when you die you can take with you!

  52. baccaruda says:

    I have nothing but sympathy for “Amy” but we run into the logical problem of being unable to prove a negative, and the concept of the devil you don’t know being worse than the devil you know: There is no way to know how many copies there are of her recorded abuse, nor where they are. She is left to imagine the worst; that it is everywhere. I’d imagine that she is constantly afraid of somehow being recognized/followed/harassed while in public; the act of watching her abuse and taking pleasure from it is itself abusive and violative in the same way the abuse itself was.

    I couldn’t say whether Amy would agree, but it occurs to me that she is seeking (re)empowerment as well as damages. My knowledge concerning child pornography is somewhat amorphous, but I imagine it is extraordinarily difficult to find the victims depicted in such media; I think that abusers deserve to be confronted with the reality of a grown adult evolving from the kids they use for gratification, and I think that seeking damages are justifiable. I believe the courts can find a fair way to enact such damages.

  53. Ugly Canuck says:

    My guess is that Traci Lords and her Attorneys will be lookin’ for some damages too, eh?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracy_Lords

  54. cymk says:

    @sirdook, @EvilSpirit,

    Know next to nothing about the law in this arena, thats why I posed it as a question. And no, I didn’t read the wiki link, just being helpful to everyone else by posting it rather than just merely referring to it.

    While there are certain connotations to seeking monetary damages in a crime of this sort, its not my places to judge. Heres to hoping she gets what she wants out of all of this

  55. apoxia says:

    I’ve worked with child sex offenders in prison. A common antecedent to sex offences against children was the acquisition of and masturbation to child pornography. Would everyone there have offended if they didn’t have access to child porn? I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that many men desensitised themselves over time to more and more graphic child pornography to the point where they felt justified, or in some cases, believed they were owed sex with children. I believe access to child porn can kindle actual child sex abuse. For this reason I can understand why possessing child porn is a crime, and how it perpetuates abuse in general. I have no sympathy for people who have downloaded photos of child sex abuse. Send them to jail.

    • vivaelamor says:

      Apoxia, there is plenty of material out there which is currently perfectly legal yet far more extreme than any material footage of actual abuse. It would be hard to make a case that fuelling an offenders fantasy is enough to warrant measures taken. You may argue that the fact the material depicts real events is the issue but that argument doesn’t seem strong enough to have made evidence of other crimes illegal.

      It is mostly legal (no thanks to the UK) to create and distribute violent pornography, as long as it is consensual. If the consideration is whether there is a causal relationship between masturbating to child porn and raping a child then shouldn’t the same rule hold for non child porn? I don’t see any laws being proposed to compensate adult rape victims for people watching evidence of their ordeals.

      The issue is not one of sympathy, it is one of upholding universal standards. Failing to do that abandons reason and risks exacerbating the very problems you seek redress for. Those you describe in prison are the problem, not the porn they were watching; if it were then the BDSM community as well as all sorts of other people who indulge in fantasies are going to be the next targets of a witch hunt.

  56. Anonymous says:

    “Laws against child pornography violate free speech rights” is the most f***ed up thing I’ve read this year. Abuse of children is not protected in any civil society by any laws – except maybe those laws in the twisted imaginations of the creeps who get off on kiddie porn.

    If you doubt that those images on the web continue to effect the girl who was forced to participate in them, read her victim impact statement. She’ll be effected for the rest of her life knowing the images are out there and wondering if they’re being used to mess up some other child’s life.

    A song, a movie, a book and the giant corporations who seek to protect them under copyright laws don’t even remotely compare to the psyche, emotional well-being, or sexual development of a human being so distinctions need to be made between laws protecting free speech and laws protecting children.

    Every person caught with Misty videos or other kiddie porn should be castrated. (Thought I’d balance out the ‘kiddie porn is free speech’ sentiment).

    Have a nice day.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Note: How many child rapes were avoided because someone watched a rape video is not well known. Guestimates have it at large, so the net effect of porn is neutral.
    Note2: To Middleclass. Taking an image of you and distributing it without your permission is illegal, especially if any money is involved.
    I think it reasonable and legal that she be compensated for any viewing of the videos. She was an actress in a recorded performance without being justly compensated. It is reasonable to copyright after the fact and insist on compensation for copyright infringement after the fact. Ordinarily you would go after the distributors for failure to pay for the performance, but, since they are hard to find, charging the users that are caught a steep price seems a reasonable workaround.

  58. JohnCJ says:

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here, not because I want to stand up for the child rapers, but for proportionality and the constitutional concept of due process.

    You cannot liken child porn to normal economic supply and demand. If I perceive a market for lemonade, I as a rational human will open a lemonade stand. However, merely because there is a small segment for the population that wants to see child rape, I’m not going to go lure small kids into my van with promises of puppies and candy merely to create a business. People who do this stuff to children are sick F**Ks who do it for their own twisted pleasure, not to make a living. Mere possession of kiddie porn is not encouraging the creation of the porn, only — at worst– the distribution.

    Given that the possession of the material is a crime in of itself, separate and distinct form the actual abuse, you cannot in good conscience conflate the two crimes.

    That said, we come to the issue of making the possessors of the materials jointly and severally liable for damages caused to the girl. While it is unfortunate that she was subjected to this horror and it is perfectly understandable that she would have cognizable damages as a result, the possessors of the material, (in effect the end user), are not the cause of the harm.

    Once again, we let our emotions and desire for revenge cloud our judgment and nail sex offenders with damages and sentences far beyond what is warranted.

    • arikol says:

      @JohnC
      You miss some obvious points.
      Supply and demand.
      This product (child pornography) is in short supply and those who are likely to hurt children are also likely to want to stimulate themselves when they do not have access to their primary requirement (i.e., innocent children).
      This causes them to “network” and share their conquests. Now, more individuals will take part in this sharing, often individuals who may or may not go so far as to harm a child directly. These people are a part of the molesters network and supply him with material when he is in need and give him motivation for increased sharing, thus making it even MORE likely that his next victim will be videotaped/photographed and thus publicly humiliated even when the direct violence is over.

      Anyone sharing child pornography is helping these low animals justify their twisted behaviour. And calling them “sick” and “needing help” makes me want to puke. Sometimes you just find BAD people. Excusing everyones bad behaviour by calling it an illness only helps these perpetrators justify their actions internally.

    • Nadreck says:

      Your understanding of abomination is shallow. While true that most child rapists will rape whether or not they can distribute video of their crimes many would not and many more would aid them for a profit motive.

      Any psychopath would dispassionately do anything to anyone for a profit of money or, more importantly, for attention; of which the money can be considered a measure thereof. Other humans evoke no more attractant or repellent emotions in them than would a salt shaker or a scrap of dust. Those whose IQ and impulse control levels are concomitantly too low to allow them to get jobs in the financial sector would find a few dollars or a few site-clicks to be necessary and sufficient motive for child rape. There’s a long history, for example, of murder of children for small amounts of money and slight increases in social status. The Nova Scotian “Butter Baby” murders wherein orphans were slaughtered and buried in butter shipping boxes come to mind. No sexual motive need be present; remember that the vast majority of violent child abuse has no sexual motive nor even content.

      There are also many criminal facilitators who would finance and network child rapists for profit. One might not, indeed, be willing to go out in a van with puppies and lollipops but one would buy the van, the puppies and the lollipops for a piece of the (financial) action. These financial and networking aids greatly increase the potential harm of the perpetrators as often their mentalities are too defective to allow them to generate either on their own.

      In addition to those for whom child rape is either a sexual or an emotionally neutral act there are those who would do it for the social condemnation that it garners. These are the individuals whose only social actualisation is to create fear and loathing. These, being the easiest to evoke, are the only emotions that they can create to connect themselves with the rest of humanity and they work tirelessly to do so.

      There is another, overlapping, clade of mental defectives whose “I’ve just gotten away with something!” emotion is completely dominant: no joy but in the illicit. These “people” will put enough effort into low or no return criminal activities to make themselves millionaires in legitimate fields. You often see derelicts, who are derelicts because of this form of brain damage (to, as I recall, the medulla) checking the coin slots of every pay phone in a train station for lost change An illicit nickel is thought to be reward enough for such a day’s labour but a “straight” paycheque for a day spent otherwise would not be.

      Either of these types would rape children for, albeit negative, attention: which you can’t have without the audience that the videos provide.

      I would also note that the manufacture and distribution of these videos is a risky act separate from the activities that they record. Distributing videos of your crimes is taking a good step towards being caught. Here in Toronto there is a whole squad of policemen surfing the interNet for these videos looking for geographic or other identifying clues in them. There has to, at least in the minds of those making them, additional motive beyond the sexual for making them.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Hmm. I like this. I have no idea how well this would work, but the thought of striking back sounds appealing even so, the thought of taking back some control, as it were.

    I am male. I was raped by an uncle between the ages of 4 and 7, and by my father between 4 and 9. There was some family knowledge of these events on one side (“Charles is just like that, be nice and go play with him.”).

    At any rate, a few years ago, I received a terrific birthday present: a cryptic email with a link to a Usenet post where my loving uncle had posted pictures he had taken of me. (I’m being sarcastic about the terrific and loving, just in case someone is humor-impaired.)

    I’ll try to explain how I felt when I saw my face staring back at me from the screen.

    It was strong. I had forgotten these events except in hazy outline. The photos were black and white, but I remembered the colors, the smells, the…I can’t go on. Past this powerful sense memory, my most overpowering emotions were numbness and resignation.

    I’m not good with people. I really like them, but I manage to put them off, say the wrong things, disappoint them. There’s more, but we’ll leave it at that. So I work with computers. I live a life online, and I rarely go out anymore. The internet, for all the assholes out here, was my safe place because I was anonymous, and it was so big, I could pretend they didn’t exist.

    I’ve spent a good part of my life hiding from them, my father especially (who’s not been above harassment of various violent sorts over the years). This mainly had to do with other events. I hit puberty early, and they lost interest in that stuff. But all love is conditional anyhow, right?

    So to see these photos meant it was all over. I was found out, they were here. I knew it, deep down, it was only a matter of time. So I was powerless. Again.

    I don’t know that makes any sense. Frankly, I can’t really wrap my head around the idea that strangers are looking at these images. That just seems unreal. I’ve never spent much time thinking about it. Maybe it’s just some cognitive deficit on my part, or maybe it’s some sort of self-protection mechanism.

    So, weird as it sounds, I don’t really give a shit about that. The acts, and the images taken of these, should never have happened in the first place. That is what bothers me. I saw those images, and I thought of them, of things I can’t talk about.

    In terms of “doing something”, I’m stupid, but even so, I knew there was nothing, absolutely nothing, I could do to stop this. Once something like this is out, it’s out. What could I do? Bitch on the newsgroup (like I really wanted to post there; I figured I was going to arrested for seeing photos of myself…I guess I would now, the laws have changed)? At best, I would simply be dismissed as a troll, or worse, harassed. Fuck that, I have other windmills to tilt.

    I left the site and never went back. Stopped going to Usenet groups altogether.

    Look, I know what I say won’t matter to people here (if it’s posted at all). Not even sure why I’m agonizing over this shit. My head is fucking killing me and I can’t sleep. I started out with some fantasy that a first-person account might help somehow. Lol.

    Sorry for the long ramble.

  60. Anonymous says:

    I can see why a viewer might be liable to pay damages if he bought her videos, but what about those who pirated them?

  61. Ugly Canuck says:

    Whenever and wherever the Law DEEMS something to be so, regardless of the facts (ie informed consent to sex: in some countries, people are deemed by Law to be incapable of so consenting until after age 18), there will inevitably be situations where the facts are not as so deemed (ie a particular individual seventeen year old may in fact be fully capable of giving informed consent to sexual conduct in all the ways that morally make a difference: but the Law closes its ears to this evidence, for very sound reasons of policy): and those “borderline” factual situations WILL result in injustice – but injustice only in fact, not in Law. For there’s no moral guilt to be punished in such a case….more like a technical breach of the Rule…

    That’s why Judges ought to have discretion in sentencing, and why mandatory minimums in these types of cases (in particular, those cases where the Law DEEMS facts, and will hear no evidence in contradiction) are a very bad idea, as being certain to magnify injustice – in some cases. Although precluded by Law from finding a defendant not guilty, the Judge may then adjust the sentence to more accurately reflect the degree of moral turpitude on the part of the now-convicted defendant involved in the case before him.

    For policy reasons, as equally sound as those which ground statutory limits on ages of consent, the Judge closest to the facts on the ground ought to make the determination of sentence: not some group of Legislators playing to their political base.

  62. sbarnes2 says:

    This whole thing gives me the jibblies!

    Me and my mom always say that victims of crazy people that rape them (like that poor girl in the box or any other horrific tales of abuse and or abduction) should get free therapy and never have to work. This girl definitely fits the bill.

    Reading her victim statement just really made me think. I remember having that feeling, of “can they tell?” when I started being sexually active. And even then, it was only towards my family and friends who I assumed had some sort of magical sixth sense- there was never any evidence. It was just a mild phase borne out of Puritanical guilt that went away. I can’t imagine what it must be like to feel that way when anyone, even total strangers on the street, could have seen your most intimate, humiliating, soul smashing moments, moments that were stolen from you by someone who tricked you into thinking they loved you? I would just ball up with blankets on the couch and watch TV forever.

    Further searching led me to Absolute Zero and Wikisposure, which are great sites that tell you about the gag-inducing things pedophiles say/do, what their screen and real names are, and where they live. I found out that there is a comic shop owner here in Ohio that is an active user on a site called “Butterfly Kisses”. That song always made me roll my eyes, but now it makes me want to puke.

    I guess in short that I think she deserves every penny. Every copy of her terrible experiences should be destroyed. I can’t even fathom what she is going through, but I wish her success in life.