Masha’s Law Allows Civil Lawsuits for Child Pornography Victims

by Adam Horowitz

 

Tragically, child pornography is multi-billion dollar industry with countless sexual images and videos of children disseminated daily. The internet has allowed these images and videos to spread faster and given more people access to them than ever before. Child predators can now interact and exchange images and videos in well-organized communities like never before.

The link between the viewing of child pornography and the molestation of children is beyond dispute. Therefore, as these graphic sexual images populate and spread, we can unfortunately predict there will be more child sexual abuse. The federal government has made the prosecution of these crimes a high priority, but even when a child pornographer is brought to justice, it is virtually impossible to track and destroy all the images of the child victim, particularly in today’s digital era. Thus, the child victim can be re-victimized for many years every time the image re-appears or is circulated to another viewer.

Most people are aware child pornography is a crime, but there is also a powerful civil remedy available to provide monetary damages to a child victim. This federal statute, commonly referred to as “Masha’s law” (18 U.S.C. 2255) became law in 2006. It provides, among other things, the right of any person who is a victim of child pornography to sue any person who produced, distributed, or even possessed any visual depiction of the child victim engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Under the law, the victim can recover actual damages of at least $150,000, plus attorneys’ fees and costs of the suit. In most circumstances, the child victim has ten years from learning of the statutory violation to bring the lawsuit, or at a minimum until the child victim is twenty-one years old. 

Our attorneys are experienced in representing victims of child pornography in civil lawsuits.  If you or someone you know was a victim of child pornography, please contact our law firm at (954) 524-2820 or send an email to sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz at [email protected]

 

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