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Child Pornography Victim Demands Restitution

Child Pornography Victim Demands Restitution

For the most of people who watch child pornography, the children they see being sexually abused are anonymous, and they stay that way.  But as Al Baker writes in a story for the New York Times, for Matthew Fanning, a retired NYPD officer who downloaded a 15-minute video showing a young girl being abused by a man, his victim’s story came out when he was being sentenced for promoting sexual performance by a child.  The girl, now in her 20′s, had written a victim-impact statement which was read aloud in the courtroom.

“I wonder if the people I know have seen these images,” she wrote.  “I wonder if the men I pass in the grocery store have seen them. Because the most intimate parts of me are being viewed by thousands of strangers, and traded around, I feel out of control. They are trading my trauma around like treats at a party, but it is far from innocent. It feels like I am being raped by each and every one of them.”

The woman was a repeat victim of child abuse; the sexual acts which Fanning watched were filmed by her father.  She said that she dropped out of college because of panic attacks and could not bear to be in crowds of people.  And every time, she wrote, she heard of another person viewing the pornography, she felt tortured.

Every time someone is convicted in federal court of possessing or watching pornographic images of her, she files damages; according to her attorney, she is seeking “about $1 million to date for counseling, lost wages, extra educational costs and evidence gathering.”  Although she has received more than 50 orders for payment, however, she sees little money because many of the people convicted simply don’t have it.

Fanning apologized in court after hearing the victim statement, saying, “The phrase ‘Lord knows, I’m sorry,’ comes to mind.  I would never do anything to hurt anyone.”

This did not, however, stop him from being sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

In addition to helping “Vicky” seek restitution for her ongoing exploitation, her attorney says that they hope her example will encourage more victims of child pornography to come forward.  “We ask that her victim-impact statement be read aloud in all cases so the defendant and those in court have an opportunity to realize the effect of this crime,” her attorney said. “I’m hopeful other victims will come forward and realize they, too, can have a voice.”

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Photo from Mike Baird's Flickr photostream.

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159 comments

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2:45PM PST on Feb 9, 2012

Bring the darkness into the light. Support our children.

5:41AM PST on Nov 17, 2011

interesting that one of the women commenting that child porn is stupid and that porn is stupid is the same one that would let her daughter go to pole dancing classes....

1:52AM PST on Nov 7, 2011

it is an awesome wonder that children can grow up unharmed in this world

9:47PM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

Mark S. you have issues. Get help. No adult should ever have a sexual fantasy or a sexual urge towards a child. I could give a rat's ass what a pedophile would 'need' to talk about their frustrations, their dreams, their hopes and their fears. I think they should all have their huevos con swingos flushed down the toilet.

'Vicki" you are a brave young woman and my heart goes out to you for the terrible, beyond terrible, events which destroyed your childhood, and your life. May you be able to find some source of peace in your life.

11:14AM PDT on Oct 22, 2011

This well spoken young woman gives hope.

6:45AM PDT on Oct 22, 2011

Children should be protected from all forms of abuse or exploitation.

6:40PM PDT on Sep 7, 2011

No child should ever have this happen to them. This ruins their live entirely, because of sick demented perverted people. I think this is the most disgusting act a man can do to an innocent child. They also should receive life or the death penalty. They cannot be rehabilitated, so why let them out of prison. They should be kept there until they die, or receive the death penalty. This disgusts me. Drug dealers get more prison time then pedophilers, and this is called justice.

9:58AM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

I have no sympathy for Fanning - nobody made him watch a child being abused, he CHOSE to do it. So as far as I am concerned he is guilty of collusion.

10:43AM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

Child porn is stupid. In fact, porn is stupid. I hope this girl is ok.

11:46AM PDT on Aug 7, 2011

That is one amazing and brave young woman. You GO, Vicky! She is bringing a human voice to the victims of child abuse, and teaching us about the impact of the crimes committed against them.
We can argue forever about rights, culture, deviancy, etc. Her voice speaks louder about the rights of the victim.

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