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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Huge Win for Victims of Child Abuse Imagery

October 10, 2012

On October 1, 2012 the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that victims depicted in child abuse imagery have a right to restitution when a defendant is found in possession of the images, regardless of whether the defendant created or distributed them.  This ruling is significant for victims of these crimes, whose images are often spread widely among networks of criminals who view their abuse, resulting in thousands and thousands of viewings.  Imagine knowing that images of your abuse as a child are being viewed around the world for years, with no way to halt this re-victimization.  The reality is that every time a victim of this abuse has his or her image viewed, the victim suffers new harm.  Full restitution is absolutely necessary.  NCVLI has been working on this and related cases from the beginning - submitting an amicus brief on the issue and publishing a Bulletin (available on our victim law library, or by clicking here.) on the importance of restitution for victims of child abuse imagery.  Read the New & Noteworthy Court Opinion of this recent decision here

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