July 21, 2017 Comments Off on Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017
Consumer Watchdog Calls for Immediate Congressional Hearings on Bipartisan Bill to Change Internet Law So Child Sex Trafficking Websites like Backpage.com Can Be Held Accountable
SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Consumer Watchdog today called on the House Commerce Committee and Judiciary Committee to hold immediate hearings on a bill amending a key Internet law so websites like Backpage.com that facilitate child sex trafficking can be held accountable by victims and state attorneys general.
The bipartisan bill, Rep. Ann Wagner’s H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, has 34 co-sponsors. It would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That section provides that a website can’t be held liable for what’s posted on its site by third parties. Tech companies and other defenders of CDA Section 230 claim it promotes and protects free expression on the Internet.
“Internet freedom must not come at the expense of children who are sex trafficked,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project Director. “Just as the First Amendment does not allow you to shout fire in a crowded movie house, or to assist hit men and drug dealers in their criminal activity, CDA Section 230 must not be allowed to protect an exploitative business that is built on child sex trafficking”….
“One of the most notorious websites, Backpage.com, has become a virtual hub for child sex-trafficking. By one count 73% of child trafficking reports in the United States involve this cynical website,” wrote Simpson. “Backpage hides behind the cloak of Sec. 230 while too many in the tech industry blindly and reflexively claim that needed amendments would undermine Internet freedom.”….
Google, CDT, EFF and other tech industry representatives may claim to be protecting free speech and Internet freedom, but their activities have done little more than protect a notorious sex-trafficking hub from being held accountable by its victims, Consumer Watchdog said. Backpage’s abuses and the fight by its victims to hold it accountable are the subject of a new documentary film, I am Jane Doe. (http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com)
Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017
This bill amends the Communications Act of 1934 to specify that communications decency provisions protecting providers or users of interactive computer services from liability for the private blocking or screening of offensive material shall not be construed to impair the enforcement of, or limit availability of victim restitution or civil remedies under, state or federal criminal or civil laws relating to sexual exploitation of children or sex trafficking.
The bill amends the federal criminal code to specify that the violation for benefiting from “participation in a venture” engaged in sex trafficking of children, or by force, fraud, or coercion, includes knowing or reckless conduct by any person or entity and by any means that furthers or in any way aids or abets the violation.
A provider of an interactive computer service that publishes information provided by an information content provider with reckless disregard that the information is in furtherance of a sex trafficking offense shall be subject to a criminal fine or imprisonment for not more than 20 years.
Comeback by Cosby Unravels as Rape Claims Re-emerge, What will Bill Cosby’s legacy be?, The sexual exploitation of children: it couldn’t happen here, could it?, Child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, Ritual Abuse, Female Gential Mutilation
November 20, 2014 Comments Off on Comeback by Cosby Unravels as Rape Claims Re-emerge, What will Bill Cosby’s legacy be?, The sexual exploitation of children: it couldn’t happen here, could it?, Child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, Ritual Abuse, Female Gential Mutilation
– Comeback by Cosby Unravels as Rape Claims Re-emerge
– What will Bill Cosby’s legacy be?
– Councils leaving children at sex-abuse risk, says Ofsted
– The sexual exploitation of children: it couldn’t happen here, could it?
– Communities and Local Government Committee – Third Report
– Child sexual exploitation in Rotherham: some issues for local government
– Children first: the child protection system in England – Education RITUAL ABUSE, WITCHCRAFT AND FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
– Child abuse, adversity associated with poor health and employment outcomes later in life
Comeback by Cosby Unravels as Rape Claims Re-emerge
By BILL CARTER, GRAHAM BOWLEY and LORNE MANLY NOV. 19, 2014
….But in recent weeks, his triumphant return to the national stage has fallen apart in the face of a wave of accusations by women who say Mr. Cosby drugged and raped them decades ago. On Wednesday, NBC said it was canceling the pilot project, and the cable network TV Land quietly decided to stop showing repeats of “The Cosby Show.” Less than 24 hours earlier, Netflix said it was postponing the debut of the comedy special. Other scheduled appearances by Mr. Cosby — on David Letterman’s late-night show and Queen Latifah’s daytime talk show — have also been canceled.
….Mr. Cosby’s lawyers have vigorously denied the accusations in recent days, and he has never faced criminal charges. But the troubles have put the star’s comeback in limbo and created awkward situations as he seeks to burnish his legacy. Mr. Cosby’s handlers, for instance, realizing that Mr. Letterman would have to ask Mr. Cosby about the rape claims, decided to scrap the appearance.
The accusations against Mr. Cosby have been all the more striking because his hit TV show, his commercials for Jell-O and his best-selling books about fatherhood helped him present an image of the ideal family man.
….A subsequent civil lawsuit brought by Ms. Constand promised to present testimony from 13 “Jane Does” with similar accounts of sexual assault. Mr. Cosby’s lawyer called the claims false and even preposterous; the suit was settled for an undisclosed sum in 2006.
One of the unnamed women in the suit, Barbara Bowman, a former actress, came forward publicly in The Washington Post last week to describe her experiences in detail…. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/20/business/media/bill-cosby-fallout-rape-accusations.html
What will Bill Cosby’s legacy be?
Andrea Mandell and Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY November 19, 2014
….On Sunday, the second woman in a 10-day span, publicist Joan Tarshis, came forward to tell a story of being sexually assaulted by Cosby. She posted a detailed account on Hollywood Elsewhere of being drugged and abused by Cosby, 77, who has been married to wife Camille since 1964.
It’s a scenario that has now been told by more than a dozen women, all recounting incidents that happened years ago.
….On Sunday, Cosby’s lawyer, John P. Schmitt, issued a statement saying the comedy legend would not “dignify” the “decade-old” claims. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2014/11/18/bill-cosby-legacy-forever-damaged-rape-allegations/19176659/ http://goo.gl/sCHGdg
Councils leaving children at sex-abuse risk, says Ofsted 19 November 2014
Vulnerable children in England are at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse because of council failures, the children’s services watchdog has said.
Child sexual exploitation has not been treated as the priority that events in Rotherham and elsewhere suggested it should have been, Ofsted said.
Councils had been too slow to face up to their responsibilities and plans were “under-developed”, Ofsted said.
The Local Government Association said the report was “uncomfortable reading”.
The report – called The sexual exploitation of children: it couldn’t happen here, could it? – was commissioned by Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw.
It comes against a backdrop of allegations, convictions and resignations over organised child abuse and exploitation over sustained periods in locations including Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and Telford.
A separate report published by MPs on Tuesday into the Rotherham cases concluded the local authority had “failed” victims targeted in the town.
The MPs also said Rotherham was not an isolated case, child sexual exploitation was “widespread” and “serious”, and questioned the performance of Ofsted itself…. http://www.bbc.com/news/education-30096187
The sexual exploitation of children: it couldn’t happen here, could it?
19 Nov 2014 Ref: 140175
This thematic inspection was commissioned to evaluate the effectiveness of local authorities’ current response to child sexual exploitation. The report draws on evidence from inspection and case examination in eight local authorities and from the views of children and young people, parents, carers, practitioners and managers. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/sexual-exploitation-of-children-it-couldnt-happen-here-could-it
Communities and Local Government Committee – Third Report
Child sexual exploitation in Rotherham: some issues for local government
37. The Jay Report sets out in chilling detail how the authorities responsible for protecting children in Rotherham against sexual exploitation failed at least 1,400 children. On the basis of this inquiry it is clear that, although there was convincing evidence of organised child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, none of the parts of the system designed to scrutinise or challenge had any perceptible effect in identifying or challenging the prevailing insensitivity to child sexual exploitation within the Council. It was the press which stimulated action. One of the lessons for local government from the Jay Report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham will be the need to improve scrutiny and challenge within council governance. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmcomloc/648/64802.htm
Children first: the child protection system in England – Education Committee Contents
3 Older children
Vulnerability of older children
RITUAL ABUSE, WITCHCRAFT AND FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
125. Ritual abuse related to accusations of witchcraft and spirit possession occurs in England amongst some communities of African origin. Some child deaths have included elements of ritual abuse, including that of Victoria Climbié and of a headless torso discovered in the Thames. The latest high profile case involving Kristy Bamu and the conviction of his relatives has reignited publicity around the issue. This type of abuse is often linked to a faith setting (church or mosque). Accusations of witchcraft may be made by the church (for example, the pastor) who also professes the solution, usually in the form of a deliverance or exorcism. Once a child has been identified as a witch, often by family members or by a faith leader, different forms of abuse may occur….
126. ECPAT reported in October 2011 that over the last four years, at least 400 African children have been abducted and trafficked into the UK, some for the purpose of ‘juju’ blood rituals. Testimonies from some of the children have described how witch-doctors extracted their blood by force for use in ritual healings. Other estimates about the extent of ritual abuse in the UK are sketchy. Research for the then Department for Children, Schools and Families in 2006 reviewed 74 cases of child abuse which were suspected of connection to spirit possession and witchcraft between 2000 and 2005, and found clear-cut evidence of ritual abuse in 38 of those cases (concerning 47 children). Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB) gave evidence that when a victim of ritual abuse is identified, it is likely that other children exposed to the same informal faith setting may also be at risk.
127. Another form of abuse to which some girls of African origin may be vulnerable is female genital mutilation (FGM, also called female circumcision and genital cutting). It is estimated that approximately 100-140 million African women have undergone FGM worldwide and each year, a further three million girls are estimated to be at risk of the practice in Africa alone. National FGM campaigning organisation FORWARD UK estimate that 24,000 girls under 15 are at risk each year in England and Wales. The most common age at which it occurs is between four and ten, although it appears to be falling…. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmeduc/137/13706.htm
Child abuse, adversity associated with poor health and employment outcomes later in life
People who currently fall into low-income and educational brackets are up to five times as likely to have faced abuse and adversity during childhood as people who fall into higher socioeconomic groups, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis of Allegheny County residents.
The findings, which will be presented Tuesday at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual meeting in New Orleans, support the merit of “whole family” programs that seek to break the cycle of adversity and negative health, economic and social outcomes that persist over generations.
Eliminating childhood abuse and adversity significantly improves health – reducing heart disease by more than 26 percent and serious mental illness by more than 41 percent, the research team determined in a separate study presented Monday.
….People with a low socioeconomic status had 1.7 to 4.2 times higher prevalence for each of the six adverse childhood events compared with people of higher socioeconomic status.
People who reported they were unable to work also reported a prevalence of sexual abuse five times higher than those reporting employment.
The results are consistent with those of similar surveys conducted in other communities nationwide…. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-11-child-abuse-adversity-poor-health.html
December 4, 2013 Comments Off on Allocating Liability for Child Pornography, in Full or Fractional Shares
Allocating Liability for Child Pornography, in Full or Fractional Shares By ADAM LIPTAK December 2, 2013
WASHINGTON — The notices arrive almost every day. They tell a young woman named Amy, as she is called in court papers, that someone has been charged with possessing child pornography. She was the child.
“It is hard to describe what it feels like to know that at any moment, anywhere, someone is looking at pictures of me as a little girl being abused by my uncle and is getting some kind of sick enjoyment from it,” Amy, then 19, wrote in a 2008 victim impact statement. “It’s like I am being abused over and over and over again.”
Next month, the Supreme Court will consider what the men who took pleasure from viewing Amy’s abuse must pay her.
Images of Amy being sexually assaulted by her uncle are among the most widely viewed child pornography in the world. They have figured in some 3,200 criminal cases since 1998.
Amy is notified through a Justice Department program that tells crime victims about developments in criminal cases involving them. She has the notifications sent to her lawyer. There have been about 1,800 so far.
Her lawyer often files a request for restitution, as a 1994 law allows her to do. Every viewing of child pornography, Congress found, “represents a renewed violation of the privacy of the victims and repetition of their abuse.”
Amy’s losses are in most ways beyond measure, but some of them can be calculated in dollars. She has found it hard to hold down a job. She needs a lifetime of therapy. She has legal bills. Her lawyers say it adds up to about $3.4 million….
Victim Impact Statement of Amy – the Victim in the Misty Series
I am a 19 year old girl and I am a victim of child sex abuse and child pornography. I am still discovering all the ways that the abuse and exploitation I suffer has hurt me, has set my life on the wrong course, and destroyed the normal childhood, teenage years, and
early adulthood that every one deserves. My uncle started to abuse me when I was only 4 years old. He used what I now know are the common ways that abusers get their victims ready for abuse and keep them silent:
he told me that I was special, that he loved me, and that we had our own “special secrets.” Since he lived close to our house, my mother and father didn’t suspect anything when I walked over there to spend time with him.
18 USC Chapter 110 – SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND OTHER ABUSE OF CHILDREN
§2251. Sexual exploitation of children
§2251A. Selling or buying of children
§2252. Certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors
§2252A. Certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography
December 22, 2012 Comments Off on Amicus Support Victim Restitution – Brief Filed in Supreme Court
Amicus Support Victim Restitution – Brief Filed in Supreme Court
By James R. Marsh on December 21, 2012
Today, the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) moved for leave to file, as amicus curiae, this brief in support of the Marsh Law Firm’s recent Petition for a Writ of Certiorari concerning whether the Mandatory Restitution for Sexual Exploitation of Children Statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2259, excuses a defendant from paying restitution for the itemized loss categories unless there is proof that the victim’s losses were the proximate result of an individual defendant’s child pornography crime.
NCVLI is a nonprofit educational and advocacy organization located at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. NCVLI’s mission is to promote balance and fairness in the criminal justice system through crime-victim centered legal advocacy, education, and resource sharing.
NCVLI actively participates as amicus curiae in cases involving victims’ rights nationwide. In particular, NCVLI seeks to highlight the difficulties that children who have been sexually exploited and filmed face in procuring restitution under federal law, and to explain the remedies that Congress crafted to help them over-come these hurdles.
November 9, 2010 Comments Off on Child Prostitution Busts in the United States
FBI: 69 children, 99 pimps found in national bust – Associated Press November 8, 2010 More than five dozen child prostitutes have been found in the last three days as part of a nationwide crackdown on the sexual exploitation of children, the FBI said Monday. FBI spokesman Jason Pack said 69 children were removed from prostitution and 99 suspected pimps were arrested in 40 cities across 30 states and the District of Columbia. Authorities arrested 785 other adults on a variety state and local charges, Pack said. All the children found in the last three days have been placed into protective custody or returned to their families.
The children were found during Operation Cross Country V, a three-day roundup targeting child traffickers and pimps. The largest group of child prostitutes, 24, was found in and around Seattle, according to the FBI. FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry said the children found ranged in age from 12 to 17….Since 2003, when the FBI and the Justice Department launched the Innocence Lost National Initiative, about 1,250 child prostitutes have been located and removed from prostitution.
Indictment: Somali Gangs Trafficked Girls For Sex – 29 Indicted In Juvenile Sex Ring Allegedly Run By Somali Gangs; Girls Prostituted In 3 States Nov. 08, 2010 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Twenty-nine people have been indicted in a sex trafficking ring in which Somali gangs in Minneapolis and St. Paul allegedly forced girls under age 14 into prostitution in Minnesota, Tennessee and Ohio, according to an indictment unsealed Monday. The 24-count indictment, unsealed in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Tennessee, said one of the gangs’ goals was recruiting females under age 18, including some under age 14, and forcing them into prostitution so the defendants could get money, marijuana or liquor. The indictment details several instances in which young Somali or African American girls were taken from place to place and forced to engage in sex acts with multiple people. One girl was under 13 when she was first prostituted. Another girl was 18 when she was raped by multiple men in a hotel room, the indictment said. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/08/ap/national/main7034588.shtml