I recently read an Associated Press interview with singer and actress Mary J. Blige in which she shared her personal account of sexual harassment, beginning at age 5. “From age 5 to 17, I [went] through hell with sexual harassment … By the time I got to the music business, it was like, ‘Don't touch me or I'll kill you,’” she said.
Three teens convicted of raping a 13-year-old classmate were sentenced to probation by California juvenile officials after serving 120 days behind bars. The charges, forcible rape in concert and lewd acts with a child under 14 – both felony accounts – carried a maximum punishment of nine years in juvenile detention, The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif. reported. Some members of the community said probation was too lenient of a punishment for something as serious as rape, but youth law experts contended the juvenile justice system was designed to give offenders the opportunity to reform. Juveniles convicted of rape in California do not have to register as sex offenders, said The Press-Enterprise.
Children featured in pornographic pictures are asking for financial restitution, and they’re getting it. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled Friday that a Georgia man caught with child pornography must pay a girl shown in an incest video, even though he did not shoot the pictures or attack the child. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports Ricky Lee McDaniel must pay $12,700 to the child who was 10 years old when her own father raped her and recorded the attack. In a written statement the girl said that every day she knows “someone is watching the most terrifying moments of my life and taking grotesque pleasure in them”
U.S. Attorney Sally Yates calls McDaniel a “secondary abuser” who should help pay for the victim’s treatment and counseling, adding that children are re-victimized every time someone views their images.
The New York Times profiles a similar case in Connecticut. A young woman who was molested by her uncle is asking for a total of $3.4 million in damages to be collected from everyone caught with an image of her. Her pictures have been circulating online for the last 10 years and turn up often in child porn cases.