In United States v. Hagerman, No. 11-3421-cr (2d Cir. 2012), the Second Circuit reversed and remanded an award of restitution to "Vicky", a victim of child pornography. The defendant was ordered to pay the remaining balance of Vicky's damages, but the Second Court found that he was only liable for the amount portioned to him after dividing the total damages by the total number of convicted defendants.
The defendant had been convicted of receipt and possession of child pornography and was sentenced to 96 months in prison, a life term of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment. Additionally, finding that the defendant was jointly and severally liable Vicky, the district court ordered him to pay restitution of $975,917.64. On appeal, the defendant make multiple objections with regard to his sentence and the restitution order.
The Second Circuit is one of the majority circuits which holds that a defendant must have proximately caused the harm to the victim in order to be ordered to pay restitution (read more about this issue and the circuit split here). The court found that standard to be met here as:
Vicky had actual knowledge of Hagerman's offense conduct as her representative had informed her of this action, and that her knowledge that Hagerman was among those who had downloaded her picture had caused her actual and ongoing psychological harm, as demonstrated in her victim impact statement and psychological evaluations.