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AG Hood wants restitution for child pornography victims

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood

Attorney General Jim Hood joined 54 attorneys general today in calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to quickly pass the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2017 (S.2152), which would establish guidelines for restitution and ensure that victims receive timely and meaningful restitution.

Currently, a child pornography victim must pursue every case in which a defendant was found to possess that child’s image in order to receive restitution. Digital images of each child victim are trafficked worldwide, and there may be thousands of defendants found to possess each victim’s images. Further, victims may only receive a small amount of restitution in each case.

“Victims of this disgusting crime should not be treated any differently when it comes to restitution, and perpetrators should not get off the hook,” said General Hood. “Our office works hard to lock up the people who are exploiting our children, and the process should be completed with those victims being fairly compensated for the harm caused to them.”

The attorneys general sent a letter to House leadership, which reads, in part: “Preventing victims from collecting full restitution protects defendants, who are shielded from having to pay meaningful costs to those they have harmed… While nothing can undo the harm done to these victims by perpetrators who produce, share and views these images, Congress can act to make it easier for victims to receive meaningful restitution.”

The National Associations of Attorney General (NAAG) letter was sent today to House leadership as the U.S. Senate already passed the bill on January 23. NAAG previously supported similar legislation in 2014, which also passed the Senate, but not the House.

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