Child Porn Offenders Get Off Cheap if Victims Act Not Passed

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Child porn, if we take the time to consider the full scope of it, involves so much more than nasty men getting off in their homes and offices while viewing illegally obtained videos.

Child porn–the making of it–involves children, some very young, being coaxed, manipulated or forced into the realm of the most vile humans on the planet. No doubt, the process by which pornographers direct their subjects is fraught with bribes, threats, humiliation and emotional torture in seedy spaces. For the children, the experience must thrust them into a state of unspeakably horrendous surrealism, from which they rarely recover.girl3

While I’ve never laid eyes on child pornography, I expect it depicts children naked and posed to titillate the sick senses of morally degraded individuals. They may be put into erotically charged scenes with other kids, mimicking adult sexual activities. I hate to even suggest it, but perhaps the most deranged pornographers even employ S&M somehow.

When I learned that the judicial system has been lenient on child porn criminals, I was appalled. And finding out that yet another ‘Act’ has been drawn up to enforce what is already law makes me discouraged, not hopeful.

Here’s what I found out about it. h/t: Huffington Post

Despite Congress’ longstanding mandate that each and every federal child pornography defendant pay restitution to victims, in reality the vast majority of convicted child pornography criminals pay no restitution at all.

 

As I wrote here in April, the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States v. Paroline has only made matters worse.

 

New facts present an equally dismal reality for victims of child rape and sexual assault which results in child pornography.

 

The United States Sentencing Commission recently compiled the following statistics about child pornography offenders subject to fines and restitution:

Of 1922 child pornography cases in the federal court system in 2013, no fine or restitution was ordered in 1423 of those cases. That means that 74% of convicted criminals subject to Congress’ mandatory restitution requirement under current law were ordered to pay NOTHING.

 

Just 286 offenders—or about 15% of convicted defendants—were ordered to pay any restitution.
Shockingly, 190 defendants who were found financially capable of paying a fine (which means the probation officer determined that the defendant had demonstrated financial resources) were not ordered to pay restitution.

 

Only 23 defendants were ordered to pay both a fine and restitution.
Of 437 child pornography defendants who were ordered to pay anything—either a fine or restitution or both—the median payment ordered was just $3000.

 

Clearly, full mandatory restitution for child pornography crimes, from every defendant in every case for every victim, is an illusion. If it passes, the bipartisan Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014 will guarantee that victims receive restitution from every convicted criminal in every case. No longer will victims be relegated to a handful of defendants paying token amounts in just a few dozen cases per year.

 

Mandatory restitution should be just that—mandatory. As I discussed here, Congress should pass S. 2301 / H.R. 4981 this session. Child pornography victims deserve no less than full compensation for their endless online exploitation. Congress must fix the law to restore justice and fairness to a restitution system which has gone seriously awry.

It seems like politicians maintain job security by writing and re-writing laws, with judges arbitrarily enforcing or not. They are playing a limbo game, adjusting the standards bar up and down on whim, without true regard for the victims. In the case of child porn, the victims need an army of morality warriors coming to their rescue, not waffling on penalties.

(T)

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