Tillis Co-Sponsored Legislation Assisting Child Pornography Victims Signed into Lawbladenonline 12/11/2018 0 COMMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) applauded President Trump for signing the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act into law. The bipartisan legislation recognizes the unique kind of harm caused by child pornography and requires restitution in a manner that will support victims.
The legislation helps child pornography victims seek restitution from defendants and gives victims the chance to receive a one-time fixed compensation payment from the existing Crime Victims Fund. The bill also allows victims access to the images depicting them, which can be important for victim identification, expert testimony, forensic review, and treatment.
“Victims of child pornography deserve justice for the traumatic experiences they live through, and we must do everything we can to help make these individuals whole again,” said Senator Tillis. “The Amy, Vickey, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act will allow those harmed by child pornography to receive support in their recovery and begin healing from these horrific acts.”
The bill passed in the Senate by unanimous consent in January. With the help of Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the House sponsor of the bill, and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the House of Representatives passed an amended version of the bill by unanimous consent. In November, the Senate passed the amended bill by unanimous consent, and today, it was signed by the President into law.
Additionally, the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Act has been endorsed by the National Organization for Victim Assistance, National Association of Attorneys General, National Crime Victims Law Institute, National District Attorneys Association, National Center for Victims of Crime, National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators, National Crime Victims Bar Association, CHILD USA, RAINN, APSAC in partnership with The New York Foundling, Enough is Enough, Thorn, Academy on Violence and Abuse, DV LEAP, Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic, Utah Coalition against Sexual Assault, and the Children’s Justice Fund.
The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act includes the following provisions:
*Findings that focus on the unique nature of child pornography crime and how it harms victims
*A more relevant and predictable definition of “full amount of a victim’s losses”
*Restitution Child pornography production: victims receive full amount of their total losses
*Child pornography trafficking: victims receive from each defendant a minimum of $3,000
*Compensation Victims of child pornography trafficking are entitled to receive a one-time payment of $35,000 in defined monetary assistance (which is indexed to inflation) from a Child Pornography Victims Reserve (CPVR) within the federal Crime Victims Fund (CVF)
*Caps fees for attorneys representing a victim seeking defined monetary assistance at 15%
*The court must assess defendants in child pornography cases to contribute to the CPVR: up to $17,000 for possession, up to $35,000 for distribution, and up to $50,000 for production crimes
*The CPVR will be capped at $10 million
*Victims of child pornography trafficking will enjoy the same priority in restitution payments as victims in other restitution statutes
*Child pornography victims have equal rights with criminal defendants to review the child pornography depicting them at a government facility or court for the purposes of furnishing expert testimony
*The Department of Justice must deliver a report to Congress within two years after passage about the Act’s implementation including an assessment of the funding levels for the Child Pornography Victims Reserve