Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin joined a bipartisan coalition of 55 states and territories and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) today calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to quickly pass a federal bill known as the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2017 (S.2152). It establishes guidelines for restitution and seeks to ensure that victims receive timely and meaningful restitution.
The surge in child pornography on the Internet has led to increased victimization and trafficking to meet the demand for new pictures and live video of sexual violence against increasingly younger children. Currently, a child pornography victim must pursue every case in which a defendant was found to possess their image, although they may receive only a small amount of restitution in each case. Digital images of each child victim are trafficked worldwide, and there may be thousands of defendants found to possess each victim's images.
"Preventing victims from collecting full restitution protects defendants, who are shielded from having to pay meaningful costs to those they have harmed," reads the NAAG letter signed by 55 state and territory attorneys general. "While nothing can undo the harm done to these victims by perpetrators who produce, share and view these images, Congress can act to make it easier for victims to receive meaningful restitution."
"These young victims have suffered enough without putting them through a legal process that is unduly onerous and lengthy, and which, in some cases, lets defendants off too lightly. The quicker that victims can obtain the restitution that they justly deserve, the quicker they can distance themselves from this painful chapter and move forward with their lives," said Attorney General Kilmartin.
The NAAG letter was sent today to House leadership as the U.S. Senate already passed the bill on Jan. 23, 2018. NAAG previously supported similar legislation in 2014, which also passed the Senate, but not the House.