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The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals made just that ruling for Amy, whose real name is not used in court proceedings. But other appeals courts have disagreed, prompting the Supreme Court to hear the case.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will consider whether anyone who downloaded or distributed Amy's images can be held liable for the entire psychiatric, vocational and legal cost of Amy's degradation, estimated at $3.4 million. Its decision could set the standard for hundreds of other such cases in the future.
The case will test the concept of "joint and several liability" whether participants in a crime can be assessed the full cost, regardless of how many others were involved. Such an arrangement makes it easier for victims to get full restitution; violators have the burden of seeking contributions from others convicted for the same offense.
Lawyers for Paroline say he should only be assessed for his share of the crime. The contrary appeals court ruling, they argue, "created an administrative and judicial nightmare by holding every defendant liable for all of Skechers Ez Flex 3.0 Duchess Crochet Slip On Shoe
Supreme Court(Photo: Getty Images)
"Our position is that every defendant should contribute until Amy is made whole," says one of her lawyers, Paul Cassell, a University of Utah law professor and former federal judge who specializes in victims' rights cases. That could take another three years, he estimates.
Already, Amy has won about $1.6 million as a result of 182 court orders of restitution, in amounts ranging from $100 to $1.2 million. That's a fraction of the number of people who have possessed or distributed her images.
"We're at the edge of a brave new world," Cassell says. "The Internet is a powerful tool that can do tremendous good or tremendous evil.".
Paroline could be judged liable for the full amount but assessed about $200 per month, Cassell argues. If he came into a fortune, his assessment would soar as well.
Judging from the sentences some of Amy's voyeurs have received, it would seem her uncle got off easy. He was sentenced in 1999 to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $6,325, the cost of her counseling at that time.
in November 2012.
"While the imposition of full restitution may appear harsh, it is not grossly disproportionate to the crime of receiving and possessing child pornography," the 5th Circuit ruled Mbt Shoes Uae
WASHINGTON "Amy" was 8 years old when her uncle began raping her. She was 17 when she found out the sex acts had Mbt Mens Shoes
Her lawyers' best guess is that there are 71,000 people like Doyle Randall Paroline, who pleaded guilty in Texas in 2009 to possessing child pornography, including two images of Amy. To collect from that many would reduce each person's share to $47.
"Every day of my life, I live in constant fear that someone will see my pictures and recognize me, and that I will be humiliated all over again," Amy said in a victim impact statement.
gone viral on the Internet. Today, she is one of the most popular stars in the international underworld of child pornography.
"Given the vast number of criminals who are injuring Amy, such an approach would relegate Amy (and the nation's district courts) to decades of litigation about the size of the constantly changing, global child pornography market," their brief states.
Story HighlightsCan victims seek full restitution from each violator?Case of "Amy" raises financial stakes for voyeursHundreds of other cases could hang in Skechers Air Walk 3 the balance
Wednesday's oral argument at the Supreme Court will be unusual because it features three sides. The case is Paroline v. United States, but Amy's lawyers will get equal time as the victim's representative.
Supreme Court to weigh restitution in child
And the federal government, which prosecutes child pornography, says the amount should be left up to the trial judge. Awarding all of Amy's losses to Paroline, it says, "has no statutory support, is practically unworkable and may be fundamentally unfair."
the losses or damages of a victim."
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