Justice Department Sides with Child Molesters and Pedophiles AGAIN
ChildLaw Blog Update - December 1, 2011
When Justice Department attorneys refused to even sit with the child sex abuse victim at last year's oral argument before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Chief Judge Edith Jones proclaimed:
"What I don't understand is why the government has switched sides. They were on Amy's side in the trial court, were they not? I'm not sure how they can switch sides now and say that the statute doesn't entitle her to relief. That seems very—if not duplicitous—very strange to me. And it's also in derogation of the obvious intent of that provision of the statute."
Now, over a year later, the Justice Department has done the exact same thing again in the Sixth Circuit. Only this time they are asking the Court of Appeals to nullify a court-ordered million dollar award to a child sex abuse victim.
Why is the Obama Justice Department siding with convicted child molesters and pedophiles instead of child sex abuse victims?
In response to this shameful position, the Marsh Law Firm has joined forces with lawyers for the victim in this case and requested immediate intervention in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to defend the million dollar judgment which was abandoned by the government on appeal.
The child sex abuse victim in this case, Vicky, is represented by Seattle attorney Carol Hepburn, who declared:
"It's bad enough that we so often have to fight child molesters and pedophiles all over the country just to get some measure of restitution for the victim. Now we have to fight the government too. Unfortunately the government has turned on us in one of the few cases where we won something significant which would really make a difference in my client's life. I just don't understand why the government is deciding to flip-flop and now go against the victim in these cases."
According to crime victims’ rights advocate Paul Cassell, a former federal judge who is currently a law professor at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at University of Utah (and who also represents Vicky on appeal on a pro bono basis):
"It is unconscionable that the government would abandon a child victim on appeal without any notice or a chance to respond. We only found out about this appeal by accident. If we hadn't intervened, no one would have protected this substantial award before the Court of Appeals. Who could have imagined that the government—which worked so hard at the trial court to obtain this award—would suddenly and without warning switch sides before the Sixth Circuit? The Justice Department simply forgot about the child victim when it filed its appeal pleadings."
Marsh Law Firm partner, James R. Marsh, emphasized that the legal fight for child sex abuse victims will continue whenever and wherever necessary:
"The Department of Justice has fought against us in the Fifth Circuit, the District of Columbia Circuit, the Supreme Court and now the Sixth Circuit. Apparently the decision to abandon child sex abuse victims is being made by lifelong apparatchiks who haven't left Washington in a long, long time. This kind of stupidity is one reason why the American people have such distrust and cynicism in our government right now. It defies any sense of common decency that some government lawyer in Washington, DC would think it's a good idea to expend taxpayer dollars to fight against the interests of child sex abuse victims everywhere in the country."
"At a time when Penn State has incited international indignity, it's outrageous that the federal government is marshaling every effort to deny child sex abuse victims criminal restitution which was a central part of the law championed by the Administration's own Vice President Biden as part of his landmark 1994 Violence Against Women's Act. Now that the Senate is holding hearings on how well the nation is protecting children from abuse and neglect, they should start by asking why their own Justice Department is siding with convicted child molesters and pedophiles against the interests of child sex abuse victims."