The woman, known only as Amy, had won the judgment from a single man who had viewed two of the more than 150 pornographic images of her that existed, the Associated Press reported.
Doyle Randall Paroline had to pay the full amount of the damages owed to her under a theory known as joint and several liability. Under the Supreme Court’s decision, courts will have to determine how much money each defendant owes a child porn victim, which could be particularly onerous for victims like Amy.
Amy — who was raped by her uncle when she was 8 and 9 years old — said that the Supreme Court’s decision leaves little recourse for victims of child porn. Here’s her statement, which was published by the Washington Post:
I am surprised and confused by the Court’s decision today. I really don’t understand where this leaves me and other victims who now have to live with trying to get restitution probably for the rest of our lives. The Supreme Court said we should keep going back to the district courts over and over again but that’s what I have been doing for almost six years now. It’s crazy that people keep committing this crime year after year and now victims like me have to keep reliving it year after year. I’m not sure how this decision helps anyone to really know if, when, and how restitution will ever be paid to kids and other victims of this endless crime.
Writing for the court’s majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested it simply wasn’t fair to force somebody to pay millions for viewing a few images of child porn.
If the court sided with Amy, Justice Kennedy ruled, it would “make an individual possessor liable for the combined consequences of the acts of not just 2, 5, or even 100 independently acting offenders; but instead, a number that may reach into the tens of thousands.”
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