West Virginia AG joins other states in restitution case

CHARLSTON, W.Va. — West Virginia is joining 34 other states in seeking better restitution for children who are sexually exploited.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Wednesday that the state had signed on to an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Morrisey and a bipartisan group of attorneys general filed the amicus brief to give full effect to the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

The Act was passed by Congress to protect victims and ensure they are able to fully recover the costs and economic losses caused by child pornography.

The brief argues that the Act mandates that district courts order people convicted of child exploitation crimes to pay restitution to the victim to cover any costs related to medical or psychological services; physical or occupational therapy or rehabilitation; lost income; transportation, housing or child care costs; attorneys’ fees; and any other losses suffered by the victim as a result of the offense.

In addition, the states argue in the brief that the language in the Act is clear, and that the purpose of the Act is to ensure that victims of child pornography receive the full restitution they deserve.

Oral arguments from all parties in the case are expected to be presented before the Supreme Court sometime in January.

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