Victims of child pornography want those who have been convicted of downloading their pictures and videos to pay.
On Friday, one victim was awarded $1,500 by U.S. District Court Judge Algernon Marbley.
The case involved a man named Ryan C. Driscoll. He pleaded guilty last year to downloading more than 800 video and 2,000 images, all of child pornography.
Driscoll told an investigator with the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that he was sexually interested in children between the ages of newborn and 12.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hunter said that this case was especially serious as well because, "Mr. Driscoll contrived stories to his co-workers about his non-existent daughter and offers to babysit for their children."
Hunter said that it is rare for child pornography cases to go to trial.
"I've probably prosecuted 150 of these cases in the last three years, and I've had two that have gone to trial," Hunter said.
Driscoll was sentenced to five years in prison and an additional 10 years of court supervision.
The money he was ordered to pay is the result of the 1996 Violence Against Women Act, which allows victims of child pornography to receive damages not only against whose who took their pictures, but also against those who downloaded their image from the internet. Driscoll had pictures of a woman called Vicky being raped at age 10.
Through her attorney, Vicky asked for money and said of Driscoll and other child pornographers, "They don't know me but they have seen every part of me. They are being entertained by my shame and pain."
Hunter says law enforcement officers built cases against child pornographers like Driscoll by going on the internet. They posed as teenagers and waited for predators to try and lure them into taking and sending naked pictures. Hunter said these criminals also traded images with other child pornographers. Then, as in the case with Driscoll, the Task Force seized computers and videos.
"We could take all the law enforcement officers in Central Ohio and have them work on these cases exclusively, and there probably would be enough work for everybody," Hunter said.
Once images are on the internet, he said that those pictures are out there forever.
"It's not an offense that ever stops."
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