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Cartwright Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Create Effective Restitution Process for Victims of Child Pornography

Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright introduced the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act, which would provide an effective restitution process for child pornography victims. Companion legislation passed the Senate on January 23, 2018.

“Amy,” “Vicky,” and “Andy” are victims in some of the most widely-distributed child pornography series in the world. The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Act addresses Paroline v. United States, a 2014 Supreme Court decision that made clear that current federal statute cannot provide meaningful restitution for most child pornography victims.

“Victims of these atrocious crimes deserve full protection and compensation,” said Rep. Cartwright. “It’s impossible to understand the psychological harm done by these types of crimes. That’s why we need to work together to strengthen these victims’ voices and help them rebuild their lives.  This bill would establish a practical process that provides real and timely restitution.”

By shifting the legal burden from victims to perpetrators, the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Act would make the restitution standard more relevant to the unique harm caused by child pornography and more useful to victims who seek to achieve a measure of justice. This bill would also provide victims with the alternative of a one-time fixed compensation payment from the existing Crime Victims Fund. The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Act also requires appointment of a guardian ad litem for victims, and allows them to access the images depicting them, which can be important for victim identification, expert testimony, forensic review, and treatment.

This bill is supported by Amy, Vicky, and Andy personally, and is endorsed by the National Center for Victims of Crime, National Crime Victims Bar Association, National Crime Victims Law Institute, National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators, RAINN, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, Academy on Violence and Abuse, Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic, Utah Coalition against Pornography, Utah Coalition against Sexual Assault, CHILD USA, Children’s Justice Fund, Thorn, and DV LEAP.