‘Satanic’ murder teens back in court, Prosecutors Rarely Bring Charges In College Rape Cases, Long-forgotten rape evidence, The Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014
June 19, 2014 Comments Off on ‘Satanic’ murder teens back in court, Prosecutors Rarely Bring Charges In College Rape Cases, Long-forgotten rape evidence, The Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014
– ‘Satanic’ murder teens back in court
– Prosecutors Rarely Bring Charges In College Rape Cases
– The “Justice Gap” for Sexual Assault Cases
– Long-forgotten rape evidence finally reveals its clues in Northern Virginia lab
– Amy’s Letter Supporting The Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014
– The Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act
– Text of the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014
‘Satanic’ murder teens back in court
South Africa Wednesday 18 June 2014
SOWETO – Two teenage boys accused of murdering two Soweto schoolgirls will appear in the Protea magistrate’s court on Wednesday.
….The girls were found dead in a field in Dobsonville, Soweto, in February.
They were both wearing George Khoza Secondary School uniforms and had cuts on their hands and necks.
Three black candles and two razor blades were found at the scene, leading to speculation that the murders were related to a satanic ritual.
Prosecutors Rarely Bring Charges In College Rape Cases
Tyler Kingkade 06/17/2014
….Amid recent accusations that colleges are mishandling reports of sexual assault on campuses, like Reed’s case against the University of Southern California, observers have questioned why colleges are tasked with handling these cases in the first place. They often argue that felony crimes such as these should be left entirely to the criminal justice system — but such arguments assume that the guilty are more likely to be punished under that system, which is rarely the case.
Although roughly 1 in 6 women nationwide are victims of sexual assault — with the rate being higher for women in college, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey — rapists often escape jail time. Only between 8 percent and 37 percent of rapes ever lead to prosecution, according to research funded by the Department of Justice, and just 3 percent to 18 percent of sexual assaults lead to a conviction.
Multiple self-identified sexual assault victims that HuffPost spoke with, in states like California, Colorado, Montana, Massachusetts and New York, said they attempted to press charges against their assailants, some claiming they had confessions, but local prosecutors declined.
….The reality is the criminal justice system often decides against prosecuting cases of acquaintance rape and date rape. Once a case reaches prosecutors, there’s no guarantee of a conviction, let alone a trial or full prosecution. An analysis of the National Violence Against Women Survey by the group End Violence Against Women International concluded that roughly 5 percent of rapes are ever prosecuted. (The analysis sought to account for the underreporting of sexual assault, which resulted in numbers lower than the DOJ’s estimates.)
The “Justice Gap” for Sexual Assault Cases: Future Directions for
Research and Reform Kimberly A. Lonsway and Joanne Archambault
Media coverage often reports “good” news about the criminal justice system’s ability to effectively respond to sexual assault, concluding that the past two decades have seen an increase in rape reporting, prosecution, and conviction. The objective of this article is to examine the validity of such conclusions by critically reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of various data sources and comparing the statistics they produce. These statistics include estimates for sexual assault reporting rates and case outcomes in the criminal justice system. We conclude that such pronouncements are not currently supported by statistical evidence, and we outline some directions for future research and reform efforts to make the “good news” a reality in the United States.
Violence Against Women 18(2) 145–168
Reprints and permission:
Long-forgotten rape evidence finally reveals its clues in Northern Virginia lab
By Monica Hesse June 16
….The problem is a backlog of untested rape kits, tens of thousands of them, each representing an alleged assault. In every case, evidence was collected from victims after their attacks, but it was never analyzed. Instead it sat on shelves for years, even decades.
There is no federal law requiring rape kits to be tested or tracked, and only a handful of states have enacted their own legislation. Staffing and money shortages have contributed to the backlog; a single kit can cost more than $1,000 to process. Sometimes, if a victim had already identified her attacker, police might not have processed her kit — though it could have contained DNA linking the assailant to other unsolved crimes.
Whatever the reasons, the backlog kept growing as kits were overlooked, ignored and forgotten. Recently, as attention on the issue has increased, that has begun to change. Twelve hundred kits were uncovered in Colorado Springs. Four thousand in Dallas. Twelve thousand in Memphis. And 6,600 in Houston, 5,000 of which were processed last year by Bode, one of several private companies contracting with local jurisdictions in a kit-by-kit effort to bring the backlog down to zero.
….Testing in other jurisdictions has yielded results: New York’s arrest rate for sexual assaults went from 40 percent to 70 percent after its backlog was cleared. When Detroit tested 1,600 of its backlogged kits, the city came back with 127 potential serial rapists, according to the Joyful Heart Foundation, which advocates on issues related to the backlog.
Amy’s Letter Supporting The Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014
“I am writing today to give my support to the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014. It is very important that this law get passed as soon as possible.”
“The past eight years of my life have been filled with hope and horror. Life was pretty horrible when I realized that the pictures of my childhood sex abuse were on the Internet for anyone and everyone to see. Imagine the worst most humiliating moments of your life captured for everyone to see forever. Then imagine that as a child you didn’t even really know what was happening to you and you didn’t want it to happen but you couldn’t stop it. You were abused, raped, and hurt and this is something that other people want. They enjoy it. They can’t stop collecting it and asking for it and trading it with other people. And it’s you. It’s your life and your pain that they are enjoying. And it never stops and you are helpless to do anything ever to stop it. That’s horror.”
….“Then we started having problems with the restitution law. Judges sometimes gave me just $100 and sometimes nothing at all. A few judges really got it, like when I was at the Fifth Circuit oral argument two years ago and the judges agreed that the child sex abuse images of me really do cause ongoing and long-term harm. The article by Emily Bazelon in the New York Times also really helped to tell my story so that people can understand what it’s like to live with child pornography every day of your life. I was really happy to discover recently that her article received honorable mention in a contest recognizing excellence in journalism.”
….“My hope turned to horror when the (Supreme) Court decided two weeks ago that restitution was impossible for victims like me and Vicky and so many others. I couldn’t believe that something which is called mandatory restitution (twice) was so hard to figure out. It just seemed like something somewhere was missing. Why, if so many people are committing this serious crime, why are the victims of that crime, who are and were children after all, left out? The Court’s decision was even worse than getting no restitution at all. It was sort of like getting negative restitution. It was a horrible day.”
“This is why I am so happy, and hopeful, that Congress can fix this problem once and for all. Maybe if they put mandatory in the law for a third time judges will get it that restitution really really really must be given to victims! After all this time and all the hearings and appeals and the Supreme Court, I definitely agree that restitution needs improvement and hopefully this bill, the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Restitution Improvement Act of 2014, can finally make restitution happen for all victims of this horrible crime.”….
The Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act
….The Amy and Vicky Act creates an effective, balanced restitution process
for victims of child pornography that also responds to the Supreme Court’s decision in Paroline v. United States. It does three things that reflect the nature of these crimes. First, it considers the total harm to the victim, including from individuals who may not yet have been identified. Second, it requires real and timely restitution. Third, it allows defendants who have contributed to the same victim’s harm to spread the restitution cost among themselves….
Text of the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014
This bill was assigned to a congressional committee on May 7, 2014, which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole. The text of the bill below is as of May 07, 2014 (Introduced).
S. 2301 Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014
January 27, 2014 Comments Off on Utah law professor to make case for child-porn victims
Utah law professor to make case for child-porn victims
Restitution » Cassell will argue before the Supreme Court on compensation for child-pornography victims.
By Brooke Adams The Salt Lake Tribune Jan 16 2014
Paul Cassell has advocated passionately in courtrooms across the country that every person who views or distributes an image of child pornography contributes to what victims have described as “death by a thousand cuts” and thus should be held liable for restitution.
On Wednesday, the University of Utah law professor will make that argument before what will be his most important audience yet: the U.S. Supreme Court. It is the first time a crime victim’s attorney has appeared before the court in a criminal case filed by the government; the outcome may result in a historic decision for crime victims’ rights.
The case before the U.S. Supreme Court involves a Texas man who viewed images of an 8-year-old girl identified by the pseudonym “Amy Unknown,” who was sexually abused by her uncle in 1997.
When Amy was 17, she learned that pornographic images of her abuse, taken by her uncle, were being widely circulated on the Internet, which is where Doyle Randall Paroline came across them.
Paroline was arrested in 2009 after an employee at a computer company found sexually explicit images of minors on his computer. Two images of “Amy” were among the nearly 300 child pornography images that investigators later discovered on the machine. Paroline pleaded guilty and received a 24-month prison sentence.
James Marsh, Amy’s attorney, filed a restitution request for $3.4 million — the sum first awarded to his client in a 2008 case under what turned out to be a little-used 1994 federal law that requires mandatory restitution for child pornography victims.
“I didn’t know it was the first request ever filed for a victim of child pornography,” Marsh said of that first case.
But since then, Marsh, who teamed up with Cassell about 4 1/2 years ago, has filed restitution requests on behalf of Amy and other victims of child pornography in hundreds of cases. Amy has received victim notices in more than 1,800 federal child pornography cases. They have won restitution for Amy in 180 cases, collecting about 40 percent of the full amount awarded to her….