5:18 p.m. EST, November 14, 2012
For damages, child porn victims must show cause, U.S. court says
"Two women who are seeking restitution from a man who viewed pornographic images taken of them when they were children must show that the defendant helped circulate
the images, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Chicago, said the two victims must prove a causal link between their losses and a defendant's crime of possessing the images.
The issue, which has divided federal courts, could determine the extent to which victims of child pornography can recover money for medical costs, therapy and lost income from the people convicted of viewing their images.
The case centers on Christopher Laraneta, who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in February. He was also required to pay restitution to two women, identified in court documents as "Amy" and "Vicky,"
photographs of whom, taken when they were children, were found in his possession.
The court awarded Amy all of her losses, calculated at more than $3.3 million, even though she had already recovered around half that amount from other defendants. It awarded Vicky more than $900,000 in restitution.
On appeal, Laraneta argued that he was not responsible for the victims' monetary losses. Although the images were found on his computer, he was only one of a number of viewers, he argued.
But an attorney for the two women argued that they did not have to prove that Laraneta was responsible for the bulk of their losses. Federal law requires a defendant to pay a victim the "full amount of losses," including medical services, therapy costs, lost income and "any other losses suffered by the victim as a proximate result of the offense."
The phrase "proximate result" only applies to the last category - "any other losses" - and not to the other listed costs, such as medical and therapy expenses, the victims'
The 7th Circuit rejected that argument on Wednesday, finding that the "proximate result" requirement applies to all of a victim's claimed losses."
Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit: "For damages, child porn victims must show cause" - US v. Laraneta
Child porn victims must show cause for damages: US court
Posted on November 20, 2012 at 8:09 AM
Texan gets prison, must pay $1.4 to child porn victim
"MCALLEN, Texas -- A South Texas man who pleaded guilty in a child pornography investigation must serve more than 17 years in prison and pay the victim nearly $1.4 million."
Judge mulls $2 million restitution in Kansas child porn case
"Prosecutors urged the judge during Monday's sentencing to order Horton to pay restitution.
They said the victims sustained permanent mental, emotional and psychological damage from being sexually exploited as children.
Defense attorneys countered that Hollister was only one of many users who downloaded, viewed and distributed images of the victims."