Findlaw: The appellate court, however, agreed with the First and Tenth Circuits that downloading images and videos containing child pornography from a peer-to-peer computer network and storing them in a shared folder accessible to other users on the network amounts to distribution under federal law. | U.S. v. Richardson IV
10th Circuit: Child porn restitution award requires showing that losses were proximately caused by defendant
U.S. v. Benoit, No. 12-5013 (10th Cir. April 2, 2013)
Finally, Benoit argues that the district court’s restitution order was improper. In accord with the majority of circuits to have considered the issue, we hold that 18 U.S.C. § 2259 requires a showing that a victim’s losses are proximately caused by the defendant’s conduct. See United States v. Aumais, 656 F.3d 147, 153 (2nd Cir. 2011). Because the district court did not explain whether specific losses suffered by the victim were proximately caused by Benoit’s actions, we remand for a redetermination of the portion of damages allocable to Benoit.
ULaw Today: Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Amy and Vicky, two child pornography victims, in an appeal brought by the Utah Appellate Clinic. | In re: Amy & Vicky
Sentencing Law and Policy Blog: A helpful reader alerted me to a notable ruling by a Sixth Circuit panel today in US v. Gamble, No. 11-5394 (6th Cir. Feb 27, 2013) (available here). Here is how the majority opinion gets started . . .
Emily Bazelon at the New York Times (1/24/13): In October, the Fifth Circuit ruled in Amy’s favor, in a 10 to 5 decision. The court also accepted the theory of joint and several liability, finding that this means of allocating shared responsibility can ensure “that Amy receives the full amount of her losses, to the extent possible, while also ensuring that no defendant bears more responsibility than is required for full restitution.” . . . The Fifth Circuit’s decision creates a clear split among the appeals courts over how to interpret Congress’ provision of restitution for sex-crime victims — a split that only the Supreme Court can resolve. Cassell and Marsh have asked the justices to do that, and the court could hear a restitution case as early as next fall. | In re Amy Unknown, No. 09-41238 (5th Cir. March 22, 2011)
Appellate Daily: Paul Cassell, a former federal judge, represents child pornography victims in a series of federal appellate cases. In October alone, Cassell notched a win and a loss in two circuit courts and argued in another. The case he won created a circuit split about restitution for victims, which the U.S. Supreme Court will almost certainly be asked to review.
AP: Child pornography victims can recover money from people convicted of viewing their abuse without having to show a link between the crime and their injuries, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. | In re: Amy Unknown (For the reasons above, we reject the approach of our sister circuits and hold that § 2259 imposes no generalized proximate cause requirement before a child pornography victim may recover restitution from a defendant possessing images of her abuse)
National Law Journal: A divided federal appellate court has affirmed the 30-year prison sentence given to a former field hockey coach for soliciting pornographic images from a girl he coached and sharing them with another teen girl with whom he sought to have sex. | United States v. Broxmeyer, 10-5283-cr