Attorneys General, including Van Hollen, want vote on bill providing restitution to child porn victims

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J.B. Van Hollen

MADISON (WITI) — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has announced he has joined 43 other state and territorial attorneys general in support of federal legislation that would allow full restitution to victims of child pornography to pay for needed resources including therapy, medical care, lost wages and other services.

In April 2014, the decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court in Paroline v. United States affirmed that victims of child pornography should receive restitution, but defendants are only liable for their actions, not the conduct of others.

The letter sent today by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is available here.

“One of my top priorities as Attorney General has been protecting our most vulnerable, our children, by aggressively pursuing those who prey upon them. This federal bill is an important step toward addressing the needs of America’s youngest crime victims,” Van Hollen said.

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent the letter to the leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a House Judiciary Subcommittee expressing support for the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014 (S. 2301/H.R. 4981). NAAG urged the committees to bring the bill to a vote.

“Despite the common refrain, viewing child pornography is not a victimless crime. The marketing, trading and possession of child pornography perpetuate a market that leads to the harm of increasing numbers of children,” the attorneys general said in their letter.

“Victims of child pornography are constantly reminded of the abuse of their past, and there is no way to erase the photographs from the Internet or prevent them from being shared by others,” the letter continued.

In addition to Wisconsin Attorney General Van Hollen, attorneys general from the following states and territories signed onto the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Washington Attorney General Robert Ferguson coordinated this effort through the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).

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