Beyond Paroline: Ensuring Meaningful Remedies for Child
Pornography Victims at Home and Abroad
By Warren Binford, Janna Giesbrecht-McKee, Joshua L. Savey, and Rachel Schwartz-Gilbert*
January 22, 2014, was an historic day in the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the first day that
a crime victim appeared in the Court through her own counsel in a criminal case filed by the
government.1 The case was Paroline v. United States, and the victim was “Amy,” a young
woman whose child sex abuse images have become some of the most widely-distributed child
pornography images on the Internet.2 In the four years immediately prior to that clear, but frigid,
day in Washington, D.C., law enforcement sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children (“NCMEC”) more than 35,000 files involving images of Amy being sexually abused,
increasing the total number of Amy’s sex abuse images processed by NCMEC to more than
70,000 since 2002.3 The images of Amy’s sexual abuse have been recovered by law enforcement
in Denmark, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia,4 and NCMEC attributes the
“dramatic increase” in the number of Amy’s sex abuse images being found to the fact that “child
pornography is now a crime of international distribution.”5
The day after Amy appeared at the oral argument in Paroline, Ryan Loskarn, the former
Chief of Staff of U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, descended into the basement of his childhood
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* Warren Binford is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Clinical Law Program at Willamette University College of
Law. She holds a B.A. and Ed.M. from Boston University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Janna Giesbrecht-McKee holds a
B.A. from George Fox University and a J.D. from Willamette University College of Law. Joshua L. Savey holds a B.S. from the
University of Oregon, a J.D. from Willamette University College of Law, and is currently completing a LL.M. in taxation from New
York University. Rachel Schwartz-Gilbert holds a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a J.D. from Willamette
University College of Law.
The authors would like to thank former Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice and Distinguished Jurist in Residence at Willamette
University College of Law, Paul J. De Muniz, for his keen editing eye and helpful advice throughout the writing of this Article, and
Cassandra Cooper for her research and editing contributions. They also would like to acknowledge the contributions of James R.
Marsh and express their appreciation for his expertise and feedback. This Article developed from an amicus curiae brief that the
authors wrote on behalf of the Dutch National Rapporteur (“DNR”) in Paroline v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 1710 (2014). The DNR
has consented to the inclusion of research and passages from the amicus brief in this Article. The authors extend our appreciation to
the DNR and Daan van Lier, one of the DNR’s researchers, for their contributions.
1 See Crime Victims’ Rights Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3771(d)(3) (2012) (providing that under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, crime victims
are entitled to seek appellate review of a denial of their rights under the act).
2 Pema Levy, Child Porn Victims Go to Court to Try to Make Collectors Pay, NEWSWEEK (Jan. 22, 2014, 1:37 PM),
http://www.newsweek.com/child-porn-victims-go-court-try-make-collectors-pay-226812. The phrase “child pornography” is used in
this Article interchangeably with “child sexual abuse images.” Use of the latter phrase emerged to distinguish it from virtual child
pornography where no actual child is used in the production of the images. See Appropriate Terminology, INTERPOL,
http://www.interpol.int/Crime-areas/Crimes-against-children/Appropriate-terminology (last visited Feb. 1, 2015). Thus, “child sexual
abuse images” refers specifically to child pornography in which an actual child is abused to produce the images. This is the child
pornography this Article addresses because a child is harmed in the production of the child sexual abuse images and then continues to
be harmed when the images are distributed and consumed. The term “images” is expansive and may include digital imagery,
photographs, sketches, cartoons, movies, sound recordings, paintings, or any other depiction of the sexual abuse of a child regardless
3 Brief for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondent Amy Unknown at 11,
Paroline v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 1710 (2014) (No. 12-8561). NCMEC explains in its amicus brief that “[t]he number of image or
video files pertaining to ‘Amy’ represents separate instances in which her image or video files are seen and does not indicate the total
number of unique or distinct files.” Id. at 11 n.5. NCMEC works in conjunction with federal and state law enforcement to collect a
database of photos and files in order to identify and prosecute individuals involved in the child pornography industry.
4 Id. at 12.