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The Second Circuit Joins The Ninth In Rejecting Restitution In A Child Porn Case

As devoted readers will recall, the Ninth Circuit recently rejected a restitution claim by a woman who was depicted in child pornography when she was a child. The Second Circuit just agreed with the Ninth Circuit, in United States v. Aumais. Yet another Circuit jumps on the anti-restitution for child porn victims freight train.

The Second Circuit held that “proximate cause is a deeply rooted principle in both tort and criminal law that Congress did not abrogate” when it created the statute that allows restitution, 18 U.S.C. S 2259. Because the woman seeking restitution couldn’t show that the defendant’s conduct was a proximate cause of her harm, her restitution award was vacated.

The opinion in Aumais rejects a restitution claim made by the same woman that was at issue in the prior Ninth Circuit case, Kennedy, and for the same reasons.

All of this got me thinking. In both opinions, the woman, “Amy”, describes feeling trauma whenever she gets a victim notification from the United States Department of Justice. Why they doesn’t DOJ just stop sending notices?

In any event, the Second Circuit now agrees with many others that if the district court is going to charge some one for the financial costs of a crime, the person has to have caused the harm that the court is holding the person responsible for.

pixy