PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — There's a new resource to help victims of child sex crimes recover and get justice. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is always looking for ways to protect child victims, and a new legal guide is now one way to help them be compensated for some of the most heinous crimes. In Arizona, these crimes can get you far more years in prison than even murder.
It's difficult for even authorities and attorneys to deal with- the horrific nature of sexual exploitation of children and the images that offenders have online. "Sadly, once a child is exploited and their image appears on the internet, like anything else, it's there forever and every time an offender looks at the image, they continue to be revictimized," said Jason Lamm.
Lamm is a former child exploitation prosecutor and has seen these crimes grow tenfold on the internet over the past two decades. These young victims are often the most vulnerable and innocent. "NCMEC is trying to put whatever mechanisms in place possible to protect victims," said Lamm.
NCMEC just released a new manual for attorneys and officials that helps guide them on how to represent children victimized by the online distribution of sexual abuse images and material in the hopes they can be compensated in court. The new guide covers everything from tracking online activity to how victims can best recover, what to do when they turn 18, and how to best seek compensation.
Our state views these crimes as so horrific that we have extremely strict laws and punishments. "If somebody has 10 pictures of child pornography, they're going to get a mandatory minimum of 100 years. More than if you murder someone. That's how tough Arizona's law is," said Lamm.