Biden, 43 colleagues support federal legislation providing restitution to child pornography victims

Washington, D.C. – Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and his colleagues in 43 U.S. states and territories voiced support today for a Congressional proposal that would provide financial support for victims of child pornography. The Attorneys General sent a letter today to the leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a House Judiciary Subcommittee calling on federal lawmakers to vote this year on the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014 (S. 2301/H.R. 4981).

The legislation 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.

“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,” Biden and his colleagues wrote in their letter. This legislation “provides victims with meaningful restitution from multiple defendants who produce, distribute or possess images of child pornography, including those who have not been identified.”

“Providing timely and meaningful restitution will ensure that the growing number of victims can begin to rebuild their lives by fully recovering the financial losses caused by child pornography,” the Attorneys General wrote.

Child pornography is growing in the United States and according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, cases prosecuted for possession, distribution, receipt, and transportation of child pornography increased from 624 cases in 2004 to over 2,000 cases in 2012. With the Internet and other new technologies, child pornography is more easily attainable and has led to increased victimization and trafficking in order to meet the demand.

In 2007, Biden established the Delaware Child Predator Task Force and worked with legislators to establish tough minimum mandatory sentences for those who deal in child pornography. Since then, the Task Force’s work has led to the conviction of more than 200 predators and the rescue of more than 100 children from abusive situations.

“Nothing is more important than protecting our kids,” Biden said. “The Child Predator Task Force puts prosecutors and police side by side to track down the worst of society and stop them from hurting any more children.”

The letter can be found HERE.