SALT LAKE CITY — Child pornography victims could have better access to federal restitution under a bipartisan bill President Donald Trump signed into law Friday.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a key sponsor of the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act, called the signing a "momentous" day that was many years in the making.
"This bipartisan legislation will provide meaningful assistance for child pornography victims to support their recovery and allow them to reclaim their lives. I am proud of this legislation and look forward to seeing it change the world for good," he said.
The bill is named after victims depicted in some of the most widely circulated child pornography series in the world. "Amy," "Vicky," and "Andy" all supported the bill.
"I'm lucky, and so is Vicky and Amy and so many other mostly silent victims out there, to have you on our side and everyone else in the Senate," Andy, a Utah resident, said in a statement.
"Just knowing that so many important people think that we matter, that the terrible things that happened to us as kids are being considered all the way up in the Congress of the United States," he wrote. "If we can all agree on something, it's that victims deserve justice."2 comments on this story
The law, which had 26 Republican and Democrat co-sponsors, allows victims to choose which form of assistance will help them most. It revises the criteria and options for judges to calculate losses and impose restitution. Victims may apply for a one-time payment from the existing Crime Victims Fund maintained by the Department of Justice.
The bill also allows victims access to the images depicting them, which can be important for victim identification, expert testimony, forensic review and treatment.