Yesterday, a federal
judge awarded money damages to a victim of child pornography
using the federal anti-child pornography law named “Masha’s Law.” In one of the first cases of its kind, a
victim of sexual abuse and child pornography won a judgment for $240,000
against his former foster and adoptive parent, Gregg Alan Larsen, for injuries
relating to child pornography produced when the victim was a child.
In an order
dated March 14, 2012, United States District Court Judge
Joan Ericksen noted that the victim “sustained genuine emotional distress because
of Gregg Larsen’s conduct” before awarding $240,000 to the victim for future
medical treatment and emotional distress. This case is the first in a series of civil
cases filed against Gregg Larsen for producing, distributing and downloading
child pornography involving foster children living in Larsen’s home.
This case was very challenging to litigate because
we were using Masha’s Law in a way that had not been tried before. There was little guidance for the lawyers and
the Court because there are very few reported cases discussing civil lawsuits
for child pornography. This young man
displayed incredible courage by being willing to be one of the very first
people to bring a case using Masha’s Law.
This young man has blazed a trail for others who have been injured by
child pornography to get the help that they need.
Last year, Jeff Anderson & Associates announced
its Combating Child Pornography Initiative.
“If we can use the civil justice system to deter people from producing
and viewing child pornography, we will affect the demand for child pornography
and fewer children will be injured because there will be less child pornography
produced” said attorney Jeff Anderson.
This case is the first case that Jeff Anderson & Associates has litigated
to the point of getting an award of money damages.
About the Author:
Patrick Noaker is the Senior Litigation Attorney in the Jeff Anderson
law firm. He has successfully litigated hundreds of cases involving childhood
sexual abuse for clients all across the United States and has worked with
others to initiate legislation that protects children. Patrick has lectured
nationally on issues encountered in sexual abuse litigation, appeared on national
television and in newspapers across the country advocating for survivors of
sexual abuse and other crimes. Patrick
was the lead attorney on this Masha’s Law case.