Press Releases

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Washington, D.C.—Today, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)—the senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee— alongside Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), introduced the bipartisan Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act, named for the victims in some of the world’s most widely circulated child pornography series. This crucial legislation improves the process for seeking restitution from child pornography defendants. The bill also offers victims a monetary assistance alternative from the Crime Victim Fund, requires the appointment of a guardian to act on behalf of the victim in court, and allows victims access to the defendants’ images depicting them. 

“Child pornography is different than other crimes in the way it continuously hurts victims,” Hatch said. “Victims of this insidious crime deserve assistance tailored to how often the offense imposes harm, especially when images are trafficked on the internet. The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Act will provide meaningful assistance for victims to help them recover and reclaim their lives.”

“The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most heinous crimes and child-pornography victims are affected for the rest of their lives,” Feinstein said. “Our bill makes it easier for these victims to secure restitution from those that produce and traffic child pornography.”

“Child pornography is a heinous crime with lifelong effects for its victims,” Toomey said. “Current federal law does not do enough to enable victims to recover restitution from criminals who produce and traffic child pornography. This bipartisan bill responds to these shortcomings by helping victims of child pornography obtain much needed restitution for the terrible harms that they have suffered.”

Statements of Support

The bill is named after victims depicted in some of the most widely circulated child pornography series in the world. 

Amy wrote: “Thank you Senator Hatch for not giving up. There are lots of important things going on in our country right now and I know that a bunch of abused kids aren’t always at the top of the list. But you haven’t given up and neither have we.”

Vicky and her husband wrote: “This bill is an important and needed step in the process of healing and making those who have harmed so many accountable for the damage done. We are thankful for the efforts of all who have brought this to this point and urge Congress to go the last mile to make this happen.”  

Andy, a Utah resident, wrote: “I’m lucky, and so is Vicky and Amy and so many other mostly silent victims out there, to have you on our side and everyone else in the Senate. Just knowing that so many important people think that we matter, that the terrible things that happened to us as kids are being considered all the way up in the Congress of the United States….If we can all agree on something, it’s that victims deserve justice. Thank you for helping us get it.”

Meg Garvin, National Crime Victims Law Institute, Executive Director:

“The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2017 is…critical to ensuring that victims do not carry the financial burden of their own victimization.”

Background

The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act includes the following provisions:

  • A more relevant and predictable definition of “full amount of a victim’s losses,” including projected future and aggregate harm by all those whose activities contributed to harming the same victim.
  • Restitution 
    • For child pornography production crimes, victims receive full amount of their total losses.
    • For child pornography trafficking (distribution and possession) crimes, victims receive from each defendant between a minimum of $3,000 and one percent of their total losses.
  • Compensation
    • Child pornography production victims may instead receive a single payment of $35,000 from a Child Pornography Victims Reserve (CPVR) within the federal Crime Victims Fund (CVF).
    • Judges must appoint a guardian ad litem advocate for victims of child pornography production and their fees are capped at 10 percent of the victim’s compensation.
    • Perpetrators will be fined 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, and funds may be transferred from the CVF (current balance is more than nine billion dollars) if the assessments are insufficient.
  • Child pornography victims will have the same access to the images depicting them as defendants already have; this is important for victim identification, forensic analysis, and treatment.
  • Department of Justice must report to Congress within 24 months on implementation.
  • Groups endorsing this legislation include the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, the National Center for Victims of Crime, National Crime Victims Bar Association, National Crime Victims Law institute, Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic, CHILD USA, Utah Coalition against Pornography, Children’s Justice Fund, Utah Coalition against Sexual Assault, Thorn, and DV LEAP.
  • Cosponsors of this bill include Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) along with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).