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Victim Claims Restitution in Child Porn Case

Posted by Seth Chazin | Oct 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

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The federal case of Doe vs. Alter has to do with the filing of a civil suit for damages by a large civil law firm on behalf of the mother of two children who were allegedly used to produce certain child pornography. The suit has been brought against over 250 defendants who were found in possession of child pornography that purportedly contained images of these two children. This suit was brought under rarely utilized 18 USC 2255 . This statue gives victims of federal sex offenses a federal cause of action and a minimum recovery of $150,000 in damages.

Many of the defendants were only possessing child porn (18 USC Section 2252) ; in California - Penal Code 311.11)  and not tied to the production of child pornography (18 USC Section 2251 ;Ca Penal Code 311.2) , so there is a causation issue which is being litigated by these defendants with respect to this claim for restitution in Child Pornography cases. These arguments have culminated in the United States Supreme Court case of Paroline v. United States.

I have successfully represented my clients in the Bay Area who are charged with possession of child pornography, including clients in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. In one Berkeley case, the client was accused of possession of child pornography and failing to register as a sex offender but we were able to see that no charges were ever filed Fail to Register Case. In another case, our client was a successful owner of a corporation that does business internationally. He was being investigated by the FBI for possession of child porn and vile writings that made defending this client that much more difficult. I immediately contacted the Assistant United States Attorney and, after many months of a thorough investigation and negotiations with the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, he agreed to not file charges in federal court. This was crucial because the client was facing a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison.No Charges Filed in Child Pornography Case. Another case involved a client who was threatened by the FBI and the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California with possible charges of Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography, 18 U.S.C Section 2252 (a)(2) and 18 U.S.C. Section 2252 (a) (4) . Again, we convinced the US Attorney's Office to decline to prosecute our client Charges of Possession and Distribution Dropped.

In a few of these cases, restitution was claimed by large civil law firms on behalf of alleged child victims. In each of these cases where restitution was claimed, no restitution was ever ordered. We argued that there was no specific nexus between our client's conduct and the alleged losses by the claimants.

For more information, contact us at: http://www.bayarea-attorney.com/.

About the Author

Seth Chazin

Seth P. Chazin has aggressively defended clients in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases for over 25 years. He has extensive experience representing criminal defendants in federal and state court, while handling both state and federal appeals as well.

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Seth P. Chazin is a San Francisco Bay Area Criminal Defense Lawyer with over 25 years experience.

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