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Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis
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Penn State is not Alone – Unfortunately

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Well, it has been a horrible few weeks in college football. Yes, Tulane, my alma mater, has another losing season, but I wasn't really thinking about that. The situation at Penn State

with the allegations of former coach, Sandusky's, sexual abuse of minors has gripped the nation for now. It is a horrible situation, and while Sandusky has denied the allegationswww.youtube.com/watch, it seems VERY clear that there was at least some inappropriate behavior (Sandusky even admitted to it).

Unfortunately, Penn State is not the only place where this occurs. It has only garnered such attention because of Paterno's high profile.

Where else are children sexual abused? How about everywhere? Last year, we resolved a case where a photographer took lewd photographs of 12-14 year old girls, sold them to a company in Miami, and that company put them on a website for pediphiles to subscribe and view the pictures. The two owners of the company and the photographer received approximately nine (9) year prison terms. The government seized over one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) from the company, and those funds were used for restitution to the victims.

These photographs were inappropriate, but not nude, thank heavens. However, this case shows the disgusting nature of some of the people who will go to unlimited lengths to make a buck.

So, what is the law on child pornography and sexual abuse of children? Here are two (2) Federal Statutes which govern this issue:

Chapter 110. Sexual Exploitation and Other Abuse of Children (Refs & Annos)

§ 2252A. Certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography

§ 2255. Civil remedy for personal injuries

(a) In general.–Any person who, while a minor, was a victim of a violation of section 2241(c), 2242, 2243, 2251, 2251A, 2252, 2252A, 2260, 2421, 2422, or 2423 of this title and who suffers personal injury as a result of such violation, regardless of whether the injury occurred while such person was a minor, may sue in any appropriate United States District Court and shall recover the actual damages such person sustains and the cost of the suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee. Any person as described in the preceding sentence shall be deemed to have sustained damages of no less than $150,000 in value.

(b) Statute of limitations.–Any action commenced under this section shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within six years after the right of action first accrues or in the case of a person under a legal disability, not later than three years after the disability.

There are many more governing laws. If you know anyone who is a victim of such abuse, call the athorities or call an attorney. Get help! It can mean the difference in preventing future horrible acts, and maybe, you can deter others from committing these types of crimes.