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National Crime Victim Law Institute

NCVLI Assists in Securing Victory for Child-Victim Privacy

September 07, 2011

Children depicted in child abuse images are not only harmed by the sexual abuse captured by the images, but also by the subsequent distribution, possession, and viewing of the images of their abuse.  This harm would be intensified if defendants charged with crimes of possession or distribution of these images were able to discover the identities of the child-victims depicted in the images and force these victims to submit to depositions or other invasive discovery practices.  For this reason, NCVLI recently provided legal research and analysis in support of a Florida prosecutor’s motion for a protective order to prevent a defendant charged with such crimes from discovering the identities of the victims depicted.  Defendant had made clear he intended to use this information to seek depositions of the victims and force them to view the images of their abuse to “confirm” their identities in the images.  Ultimately, the court granted the state’s motion for a protective order, preventing defendant from inquiring into the identities of the victims and from deposing them.  As the court explained in its ruling: “[T]he usefulness of the information sought by Defendant, the children’s identities, is outweighed by the their further embarrassment and humiliation at being forced to endure a deposition where they are asked in detail about their sexual abuse.”