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Supreme Court Ponders Child Porn Victim Restitution Laws in PA

The Washington D.C. Supreme Court is currently looking at a case that will define whether or not the victims of child pornography offenses can recover money from those who watched the abuse online on pornographic websites. The ruling will mean big changes for both victims and suspects.

Those that are arrested for viewing or possession of child pornography may have to pay exorbitant fines and fees to those that were emotionally damaged after they were exposed online. The justices have agreed to review a question that has divided lower courts in the past. The question is this: must there be a link between the crime of viewing child pornography and the victim's injuries before a victim can receive restitution from an offender? Some say that the prosecution must prove that the suspect was responsible for the injuries that the victim suffered before that victim can seek compensation.

The argument began when a victim of a child pornography stunt sought financial payments from a Texas resident who pleaded guilty to possessing between 150 and 300 images of child pornography on his computer. The victim is seeking about $3.3 million after being exposed on the website. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals examined the case last year and said that victims don't have to show a link between the crime and their injuries in order to receive compensation.

The victim says that she was sexually abused by her uncle and photographs of the abuse ended up on child pornography websites all over the internet. Since then, she has been collecting restitution from those who viewed the images. If you are accused of child pornography, the Supreme Court's decision may change your sentence by making it difficult for you to repay the victims after you viewed images of them. Talk to a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney today to learn how this Supreme Court case may affect your sex crimes case!

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