Cassell to Argue Before Fifth Circuit in Child Pornography Case

Paul Cassell, Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, will argue before 16 judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday, May 3, on behalf of a victim of child pornography, “Amy.”   The case involves an important issue of whether child pornography victims can recover all of their losses (e.g., psychological counseling and lost income) from one defendant or must apportion their losses out among multiple defendants.

In the case, “Amy” was sexually abused as a young girl and images taken of the abuse have been widely distributed on-line. Two defendants have been convicted of illegally possessing child pornography depicting Amy. Amy sought to recover lifetime psychological counseling expenses from the defendants, under a federal law entitling her to recover the “full amount” of her damages. The government and the defendants argue that Amy must apportion her losses to particular defendants.

Cassell is arguing on behalf of the University of Utah Appellate Clinic, and has been assisted by three students participating in the clinic or other College of Law programs, Nathan Orme, Nathan Marigoni, and Nathanael Mitchell.

Read Cassell’s opening brief