Countless numbers of people have seen the pictures of 8-year-old “Amy,” as she is called in court documents, being sexually abused by her uncle. She is a victim of child pornography in a terrible, viral way. Since her uncle took the pictures in the late 1990s and sent them to a man he met through an AOL bulletin board, they have surfaced on the computers of child pornography collectors all over the world, factoring into 3,200 criminal cases in the United States alone. When Amy received notices from the government about those cases, one by one, she hired a lawyer, and at age 17 she started asking for restitution from the offenders (mostly men) who were being convicted for having her childhood pictures. She has claimed lifetime damages—in lost income, counseling costs, and attorney’s fees—of $3.4 million. Using a provision for restitution in the Violence Against Women Act, she has succeeded in collecting about $1.7 million from more than 170 men, usually in payments in the thousands or smaller.
In their new book, The App Generation, education professors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis argue that kids today are becoming more risk averse. “Rather than wanting to explore, to try things out by themselves, young people are always pushing to find out exactly what is wanted, when it is wanted, how it will be evaluated, what comes next and where we end up,” they said in a recent Q-and-A.
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Sexual assault charges against star athletes are often a kind of poison, one that acts less on the athlete in question than the woman who says she is the victim. It’s a story that has played out since the 1990s at a depressingly long list of universities. The latest controversy involves a rape allegation against Jameis Winston, Florida State University’s Heisman-contending quarterback. Tallahassee, Fla., prosecutor William Meggs has yet to say whether he’ll charge Winston. The decision could be weeks away, his office says. Meanwhile, Winston’s team is 11–0 and scheduled to play for the ACC championship on Dec. 7. The deadline for Heisman Trophy voting is two days later. So the delay looks good from the point of view of Winston and the Seminoles—and bad for the alleged victim, from whose perspective the case is already a mess.
Here’s one I haven’t heard before: A woman gets pregnant in California by a famous athlete she is casually dating, decides to go to college in New York—tuition paid by the G.I. Bill—and after she moves there, before the baby is born, gets blasted by a New York judge for “her appropriation of the child while in utero,” which the judge calls “irresponsible” and “reprehensible.”