Supreme Court hears Texas man’s appeal in child pornography case

WASHINGTON (TIP): The Supreme Court wrestled on January 22 with how much a Texas man who possessed child pornography must pay one of the victims. Doyle Paroline, who is from East Texas, was arrested in 2008 with 280 images of child pornography and spent 22 months in jail.

Two photographs detailed the abuse of Amy, who was eight years old at the time she was raped and photographed by her uncle. Amy’s lawyers said Paroline should pay Amy for her suffering. They said she needs $3.4 million, mostly to cover lost future income and counseling fees. They also say he should be able to sue other offenders to help contribute to that sum.

Paroline’s lawyers disagree. Because a district court ruled that the government could not directly calculate his contribution to her losses, they argue he should not be held responsible In court Wednesday, several justices agreed that Amy, a pseudonym used to protect the true victim’s identity, was harmed by all of those involved in the distribution and consumption of her images. But they remained skeptical that Paroline should be liable for her entire losses, as he played a relatively small part in her saga.

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