Marsh Law Firm is recognized worldwide as a premier law firm representing victims of sex abuse in schools, colleges, churches, foster care, and government and military institutions; Title IX sexual assault and rape; online sexual exploitation; sexting; child pornography; child trafficking; sextortion; and revenge porn.
We are among the few law firms in the country using innovative federal law approaches to help victims obtain justice nationwide.
The intersection of criminal law, federal civil statutory remedies, Title IX, copyright, and criminal restitution makes this a challenging and unique area of the law requiring skilled litigators and creative thinkers. The lawyers at Marsh Law Firm have the experience and skills necessary to help victims rebuild their lives with dignity and respect.
Law & Order: SVU – Restitution at Last
You can watch the full Law & Order SVU episode, Downloaded Child, here online (for a limited time).
After you've watched Downloaded Child, read about the real #StolenChildhood, Emily Bazelon's groundbreaking New York Times Magazine story about our clients and our firm's efforts to obtain compensation for victims of child pornography.
Landmark Civil Rights Action Filed by Campus Rape Victim
A University of Virginia rape victim represented by the Marsh Law Firm has filed a landmark civil rights action written by Wendy Murphy and Dr. Bernice Sandler—an octogenarian known as the “Godmother of Title IX”—to stop a new federal law from undermining pending federal investigations of UVA’s mishandling of a sexual assault case on campus.
The cases were filed in an effort to halt the Campus SaVE Act—a new federal law that will substantially weaken the rights of sexual assault victims on college campuses guaranteed under Title IX—which is scheduled to take effect on March 7.
UVA is under investigation by the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for allegedly mishandling a sexual assault case on campus where a female student was drugged and raped by a male student. Allegations include that a UVA nurse falsified medical records and reported there were no injuries consistent with sexual assault despite multiple findings of significant injuries; and that UVA lost or destroyed photographs of the victim’s injuries.
For further information about this high-profile case, visit Title IX on Campus.
Advocating for Victims in the Supreme Court
On June 27, 2013, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review a case brought by the Marsh Law Firm concerning criminal restitution for victims of child pornography.
The Court agreed to decide “what, if any, causal relationship or nexus between the defendant's conduct and the victim's harm or damages must the government or the victim establish in order to recover restitution under 18 U.S.C. §2259,” the Mandatory Restitution for Sexual Exploitation of Children Act of 1994.
The case, Paroline v. United States, arises out of a long-fought and extensively litigated criminal restitution action which began almost four years ago before Judge Leonard Davis in the Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division.
Last January the defendant, Doyle Randall Paroline, filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the Supreme Court seeking review of last year's momentous Fifth Circuit en banc decision which significantly expanded the rights of child pornography victims to receive criminal restitution.
HuffPost Live recently aired this preview of our Supreme Court case.
The case was heard by the Court on Wednesday, January 22, 2014.
For complete details about the case, including the fourteen amicus briefs filed on behalf of victims visit Marsh Law Firm's ChildLaw blog.
Advocating for Victims in Court
American Bar Association Journal – Pricing Amy: Should Those Who Download Child Pornography Pay the Victims? (September 1, 2012)
The ABA Journal is read by half of the nation's 1 million lawyers every month. It covers the trends, people and finances of the legal profession from Wall Street to Main Street to Pennsylvania Avenue
The Marsh Law Firm is featured in the September 2012 issue which highlights our efforts to obtain criminal restitution for victims of child pornography and child exploitation. One of our clients, Amy, has taken the lead in a four year fight which has taken us to every federal district court and every Circuit Court in the nation.
From the ABA Journal:
Amy could be considered the leader in this legal trend. Her pictures are among the most widely traded in the underground world of online child pornography.
Under the Crime Victims' Rights Act, the government must notify Amy and other child pornography victims anytime anyone is arrested by federal authorities for possessing their images. Her attorney, James Marsh of New York City, says his office has received at least 1,500 required notices of federal prosecutions for possession of those images. "The day after we were retained in 2008, we had someone open up all these notices she received in the calendar years 2006 and 2007," Marsh says. "It took two days just to open the envelopes."
Using the restitution provisions of the Violence Against Women Act, Marsh has begun utilizing the courts to request financial restitution from those convicted of possessing images of Amy's child sexual abuse.
The novel and controversial requests don't seek to hold possessors responsible for the original exploitation of Amy. Rather, they seek restitution under VAWA, as authorized by the Crime Victims' Rights Act, for harm done to Amy each time someone downloads her uncle's pornographic images of her.
For more information about Amy and the Marsh Law Firm's groundbreaking effort to obtain criminal restitution, click here for press clipping and news summaries.
Advocating for Victims in Congress
In 1998, a Russian orphan girl named Mariya Nikolaevna Yashenkova (also known as Masha Allen) was targeted by a sophisticated child pedophile network.
Mariya was adopted internationally at age five by a single American man named Matthew Mancuso who raped and sexually abused her for six years. Throughout this period, Mancuso memorialized his ongoing exploitation of Masha by producing hundreds of child sex abuse images which he distributed on the Internet to other pedophiles.
In late 2006, the Marsh Law Firm was instrumental in enhancing the federal civil legal rights of children who are victims of child pornography. Borrowing from intellectual property and victims' rights law, our firm helped draft, introduce and pass—in just seven months—a comprehensive update to a long-forgotten federal law which gives victims the right to sue anyone who produces, distributes or possess their child sex abuse images. Masha's Law provides statutory damages of $150,000 for each violation of federal child pornography provisions and was incorporated into the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act [Pub.L. 109-248] signed by President Bush on July 27, 2006.
Thanks to our work, victims of child pornography and sexual exploitation have a newly invigorated federal statutory right in every federal district court in the country to pursue their victimizers. No longer will children have to suffer in silence relegated to permanent unseen and unheard victims of this horrible crime. Now everyone who profits from and participates in these evil acts will be held accountable not only criminally, but financially.
Advocating for Victims in the Media
The Washington Post – Former college student seeks to block new law on sexual assaults
Associated Press – Federal appeals court sides with child porn victims over restitution law
Detroit Free Press – Restitution sought to care for kids whose moms used them to make porn
The Times Leader – Battle against 'net child porn sees new front
National Law Journal – Porn victims demanding restitution
Courier–Post – Child porn victims heard
NY Law Journal – Online viewer of child pornography ordered to pay restitution to the victim
FOXNews.com – Wikipedia distributing child porn
The New York Times – Child pornography, and an issue of restitution
The Christian Science Monitor – A bold gambit to reduce demand for child porn