Divided 8th Circuit panel adopts proximate cause requirement for child porn restitution awards

How Appealing reports on the ruling in U.S. v. Fast and observes: “The dissenter, Circuit Judge Bobby E. Shepherd, voted in favor of adopting the view of the en banc Fifth Circuit majority, which held each defendant individually liable for the full amount of the victim’s damages.”

Introductory excerpt from the majority opinion:

Robert M. Fast pled guilty to one count of receiving and distributing child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2). The district court ordered him to pay $3,333 restitution to Vicky – the pseudonym for the child-pornography victim whose images were on Fast’s computer – under 18 U.S.C. § 2259. Vicky challenges the restitution award by direct appeal and in a petition for mandamus. She argues that Fast need not proximately cause the losses defined in subsections 2259(b)(3)(A) through (E) to be liable for them, and that the district court misinterpreted the “full amount of [her] losses” under section 2259(b)(1). Because she lacks standing as a nonparty to bring a direct appeal, this court grants the motions to dismiss by Fast and the government. Having jurisdiction over her mandamus petition under the Crime
Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA), 18 U.S.C. § 3771(d)(3), this court denies her petition.