Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) sponsored a bill Thursday that would allow victims of child pornography to receive restitution.
The bipartisan Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act creates an effective and balanced restitution process for victims of child pornography by considering the total harm caused to them by all those involved.
It would also require timely restitution and allow defendants who have contributed to the same victim's harm to spread the restitution cost among themselves.
The bill is in response to a recent Supreme Court decision (Paroline v. United States) that required a special restitution process for victims of child pornography that more suited the crime. Unlike most child exploitation cases where a single person causes harm to a victim, child pornography cases often involve many components--from production to distribution and possession.
"This bill gives victims of child pornography the tools they need to seek restitution from all involved in hurting them," Duncan said. "In the age of the internet, this type of harm can be endless."
"I was a criminal court judge in Knoxville for nearly eight years trying mostly felony cases, and I was known for being very fair but also very tough, especially on those found guilty of hurting children," Duncan continued. "I am proud to be an original sponsor of this bill that will go a long way to helping victims overcome this terrible pain."
A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate.