Child Porn Victim Sues Viewers for $150K Each - Injured
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Child Porn Victim Sues Viewers for $150K Each

A child porn victim from Pennsylvania is using a law that she inspired to sue her viewers. Masha Allen's lawsuit seeks $150,000 each from pedophiles -- including doctors, lawyers, and even her own father -- who've viewed sexually explicit images of her.

"Masha's Law" is named for Allen, a Russian orphan adopted at age 5 by divorced Pittsburgh-area millionaire Matthew Mancuso.

Over the course of five years, Mancuso turned Masha into a child porn Internet sensation by producing and circulating about 200 explicit images of her, some of which were taken at Disney World. Authorities believe the images have been viewed millions of times online.

Masha's Law

In 2003, Masha was rescued during a national investigation into Internet pedophiles, reports The Associated Press.

After she went public with her story, Congress passed Masha's Law. The law, which is included in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, allows child porn victims 18 and over to sue anyone caught with their explicit images.

It's important to note that the law doesn't require an actual download; many successful prosecutions are completed through using residual images left on the viewer's computer.

Statutory Damages

Under federal law, Allen is entitled to a minimum payout of $150,000 from each man.

While Allen is seeking the minimum amount from each offender, she may receive about $100 million as the lawsuits against the almost 2,000 men caught with her images grow, reports The AP.

Masha, who now lives under another name, receives a notice from the U.S. Justice Department every time someone is caught with her images.

Unfortunately, many men convicted of child pornography charges are often in dire financial straits by the time their criminal cases have concluded, so recovering damages can be a challenge for many child porn victims.

Overall, the law has fared differently in courts across the country. A number of courts have struggled to find applicable standards for causation and damages. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on child porn restitution during its next term.

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