Supreme Court Grants Justice Dep’t Request to Reject Child Victims
By James R. Marsh on December 6, 2011
Last week the United States Supreme Court ignored the extraordinary pleas of three nationally recognized child advocacy groups and granted the Justice Department’s request to dismiss a child sex abuse victim’s appeal for criminal restitution.
The case now returns to the district court which must follow the DC Circuit’s holding that the victim in this case, Amy, does not have a clear and indisputable right to full restitution, but must instead trace precisely how her losses were “proximately” caused by each of the thousands of child molesters and pedophiles who collect and trade her child sex abuse images.
The Supreme Court’s rejection means that a child pornography victim’s right to criminal restitution in the federal courts will continue to be limited and denied in sixteen states and territories, including California, New York and Washington, DC. Only in the Fifth Circuit—encompassing the states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi—is restitution still mandatory.
The Court’s denial—and the Justice Department’s stubborn refusal to abandon a legal standard which the influential Ninth Circuit concluded “present[s] serious obstacles for victims seeking restitution in these sorts of cases”—leaves child sex abuse victims like Amy with scant chance for justice in the federal courts.
Pedophiles, child molesters and the Justice Department are likely to seize on the high court’s rejection as a sign that criminal restitution for child sex abuse victims is all but impossible in the federal courts except under the most egregious circumstances. http://www.childlaw.us/2011/12/supreme-court-grants-justice-d.html