Now she is seeking financial restitution from anyone prosecuted for possessing any of her image, even if they did not commit a? But not every jurisdiction agrees with the heavy court-ordered payments for those who view such images. Some judges have said restitution goes too far in punishing pedophiles whose only crime is to view photos, but Amy's lawyer, James Marsh , disagrees, saying the brutality in the "secret society" of child pornography requires tough measures.
Marsh is now seeking restitution in cases that involve photos of Amy, through automated filings to the United States attorneys handling the cases.
In , Marsh helped update a federal law that gives victims the right to sue anyone who produces, distributes or possess their child sex abuse images. Masha's Law Allows Victims to Seek Damages So-called " Masha's Law " came out of a case of a Russian orphan girl, known as Masha Allen , who was targeted by a sophisticated child pedophile network. Her American adoptive father raped and sexually abused her for six years and distributed hundreds of images on the Internet.
At the time, Marsh testified in Congress that social networking sites like MySpace and YouTube, as well as camera-enabled cell phones have "enabled and facilitated" child trafficking and the commercialization and distribution of child pornography. Amy first became aware of the photos in , when she began receiving victim notifications from government - now up to in all - which were mandated by the Victims of Crime Act.
Each time a pedophile was prosecuted for downloading her images, a letter would arrive at her home, and she would relive the abuse. Amy's uncle bought her gifts and let her ride his motorcycle.
Now, distrusting, she shuns the generosity of others and fears getting a driver's license. Amy failed a high school anatomy class because of the disgust she felt at the human body. She is unable to trust others and says she sometimes "drinks too much" to hide her feelings of shame. After the abuse her uncle would give her beef jerky, once a favorite snack, but now it evokes "feelings of panic, guilt," she said.
Marsh said they will not stop seeking restitution until that sum is reached. For years, authorities could not seek restitution because victims could not be identified. But in , The Center for Missing and Exploited Children was able to identify a girl they called "Amy" among digital images that had been seized by Texas police in the case of a year-old Dyle Randall Paroline.
They say that in that year alone, the Misty series was viewed by more than 8,, showing Amy forced to perform "extremely graphic" acts, including oral sex, anal penetration and masturbation with an adult man.
Judge Leonard Davis said in an page opinion that was too much, violating the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on excessive punishments. In a similar case in Maine, the judge agreed. But Amy had already been successful in several cases. He actually harmed the child," said Amy Adler, a professor at New York University Law School who specializes in first amendment law and pornography.
Money Cannot Deter Pornography "Given the severity of sentences and the jail time for downloading offenses, if that's not a significant deterrent, I don't know how money could be," said Adler. Pornography "does not exist in a vacuum," said Marsh. A "powerful, long-term collector" - with , to , images -- can command others to commit sex crimes to obtain the images he wants.
Meanwhile, Amy leads a "very quiet, very simple" life at home with her parents in rural Pennsylvania. But because of administrative mistakes, the sentences ran concurrently, and he could be out in two years with parole. But they don't understand the true nature of these criminal syndicates or the experience of the victim.
For me, it's a no-brainer.