Senate passes bill to help victims of child pornography recover monetary damages

The Senate has unanimously passed legislation to permit victims of child pornography to recover greater damages from those who produce, distribute or possess pornographic images of them.

The 98-0 vote is in response to a Supreme Court decision from last year in which the court held that a defendant only would have to pay damages consistent with the relative harm caused by their actions. That made it difficult for victims to recover the damages they were owed.

The legislation establishes a minimum amount for damages for various child pornography offenses, and makes any single person responsible for the full damages from child pornography crimes that involve multiple perpetrators. It also broadens the definition of a victim's losses to include things such as medical services, lost income and therapy.