Last week, colleagues of ours, James Marsh and Professor Paul Cassell, filed “Amy’s” brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting her request for restitution from a man convicted of possessing images of her being sexually abused as a young girl. Freeman Lewis is proud to have contributed to this landmark brief. Since "Amy’s" brief was filed, fourteen amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs have been filed in support of “Amy”.

In her request for restitution, "Amy" asks the courts to enforce a “mandatory” restitution statute (18 U.S.C. § 2259) that promises her that she will receive restitution for the “full amount” of her losses. “Amy” prevailed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit sitting en banc. The Supreme Court decided to review that decision to determine: “What, if any, causal relationship or nexus between the defendant’s conduct and the victim’s harm or damages must the government or the victim establish in order to recover restitution under 18 U.S.C. 2259?”

“Amy” contends that she has shown ample causal relationship or nexus between her harm and damages by proving that the defendant was one of a large and ever growing group of pedophiles who has downloaded and viewed her sex abuse images – dozens of which are still widely circulating on the web almost two decades after she was sexually abused and photographed by her uncle. She seeks an order that the defendant pay her the full amount of her well-documented out-of pocket losses, which primarily include costs incurred for psychological counseling and lost income.

The fourteen amicus briefs from individuals and groups from all corners of the country, as well as ECPAT and the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence Against Children highlighting the significant international implications of the case, demonstrate deep and wide support of “Amy” and the importance of fairly compensating victims like her in restitution.

No amicus curiae briefs were filed in support of the Defendant.

This case represents a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to address important issues concerning holding convicted child sex abuse felons financially responsible to those they harm, the nature and extent of rights of victims in the criminal justice system, and the role of the internet in the growing global distribution of child sex abuse images. See the June 27, 2013 Freeman Lewis LLP E-Update for more information.

The fourteen amicus briefs were filed by:

  • United States Senators Orrin G. Hatch, Dianne Feinstein, Charles E. Grassley, Edward J. Markey, John McCain, Patty Murray, and Charles E. Schumer as Amici Curiae in Support of Amy Unknown

  • The States of Washington, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and the Territory of United States Virgin Islands

  • The National District Attorneys Association

  • Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence Against Children

  • ECPAT International

  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

  • American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children

  • The Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project, Legal Momentum, The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Professor Margaret Drew, Professor Leigh Goodmark, and Professor Margaret Garvin

  • The National Crime Victim Law Institute, Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, Child Justice, Inc., Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, Inc., National Center for Victims of Crime, and National Organization for Victim Assistance

  • The National Crime Victim Bar Association, Arizona Association for Justice, Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, Florida Justice Association, and Oregon Trial Lawyers Association

  • Women’s and Children’s Advocacy Project and Justice for Children

  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving

  • The National Association to Protect Children

  • “Vicky” and “Andy” (two other victims harmed by circulation of their child sex abuse images)

Here is a link to the Google Drive containing all of the documents filed in the Supreme Court, as well as several additional documents describing the harm caused by child sex abuse and the viewing of those images.

Oral argument is set for January 22, 2014. We will be there.

Freeman Lewis LLP is a boutique firm focusing on employment law, victims' rights, securities arbitration, white-collar criminal law, commercial litigation, and ERISA litigation. For more information, visit http://www.freemanlewis.com.