children and produce child pornography, but also harm the children portrayed in the child sexual
abuse images by distributing and possessing the images.47 The sharing of the child sexual abuse
images revictimizes children.48 Many victims know that the images of their sexual abuse as
children are being consumed by numerous, and often unknown, perpetrators and that this
revictimization may continue for the rest of their lives due to the nature of the Internet. Amy
Unknown, the child portrayed in the “Misty series,” one of the most widely-distributed and
collected sets of child sexual abuse images, wrote about this problem in her victim impact
statement.49 She wrote:
Every day of my life I live in constant fear that someone will see my pictures and
recognize me and that I will be humiliated all over again. It hurts me to know
someone is looking at them—at me—when I was just a little girl being abused
for the camera. . . . I want it all erased. I want it all stopped. But I am powerless
to stop it just like I was powerless to stop my uncle. When they first discovered
what my uncle did, I went to therapy and thought I was getting over this. I was
very wrong. My full understanding of what happened to me has only gotten
clearer as I have gotten older. My life and my feelings are worse now because the
crime has never really stopped and will never really stop. It is hard to describe
what it feels like to know that at any moment, anywhere, someone is looking at
pictures of me as a little girl being abused by my uncle and is getting some kind
of sick enjoyment from it. It’s like I am being abused over and over and over
Amy’s experience of revictimization is common among victims of child pornography. These
victims have extensive and ongoing medical and psychological needs.51 In addition, the constant
fear of recognition keeps many victims from being able to obtain education and employment.52
As a result, tangible support of victim restoration is imperative, both morally and legally.
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47 One of the first academic articles to study the role of Internet-based communities in the creation and perpetuation of child sex abuse
and child sex abuse images was by Ethel Quayle and Max Taylor. Ethel Quayle & Max Taylor, Child Pornography and The Internet:
Perpetuating A Cycle Of Abuse, 23 DEVIANT BEHAV.: AN INTERDISC. J. 331, 331 (2002).
48 New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747, 759–60 n.10 (1982) (“[P]ornography poses an even greater threat to the child victim than does
sexual abuse or prostitution. Because the child’s actions are reduced to a recording, the pornography may haunt him in future years,
long after the original misdeed took place. A child who has posed for a camera must go through life knowing that the recording is
circulating within the mass distribution system for child pornography.”).
In addition to revictimizing the children whose sexual abuse is portrayed in the images, the possession and distribution of
child sexual abuse images “validates and normalizes the sexual exploitation of children, and fuels a market, thereby leading to further
production of images.” Letter from Anne Gannon, Nat’l Coordinator for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction, U.S. Dep’t of
Justice, to Hon. Patti B. Saris, Chair, U.S. Sentencing Comm’n (Mar. 5, 2013) (on file with author) (citing H.R. Rep. No. 108-66, at
49 Amy is the victim at the center of a recent case before the Supreme Court of the United States, Paroline v. Amy Unknown and
United States. Paroline v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 1710 (2014). In Paroline, the Supreme Court interprets the Mandatory Restitution
Statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2259 (2012), to determine child pornography victims’ ability to obtain restitution, which is used to provide
restoration services to the victim such as psychological counseling, compensation for lost income, and medical expenses. Id. at 1760.
Amy’s appearance represents a momentous day for crime victim advocates—for the first time in U.S. history, a victim argued as a
party before the Supreme Court along with the defendant and Government. Brooke Adams, Utah Law Professor to Make Case for
Child-Porn Victims, SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (Jan. 16, 2014, 12:50 PM), http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/mobile3/57400897-219/amy-
restitution-court-child.html.csp. Amy argues that once an individual meets the definition of victim in the Mandatory Restitution
Statute, the individual is entitled to the full amount of her losses. The Court rejects this theory and holds that victims may only receive
restitution for injuries directly caused by the defendant using a number of factors. See infra Part V for a more extensive discussion of
50 Joint Appendix vol. 1 at 60–61, Paroline v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 1710 (2014) (No. 12-8561).
51 See Part II.B for a discussion of the victims’ medical and psychological needs.