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….