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AG REYES LEADS EFFORT URGING SWIFT PASSAGE OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY BILL

AG REYES LEADS EFFORT URGING SWIFT PASSAGE OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY BILL
Bipartisan Group of 54 AGs Calls on Congress to Support Victims of Child Pornography


SALT LAKE CITYToday, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes led a bipartisan group of 54 state and territorial attorneys general in calling upon the United States Congress to pass legislation supporting victims of child pornography. The states of Utah and Washington led the coalition by drafting a letter which was joined by fifty-two other states and territories.

The bipartisan bill, known as The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2017, would make it easier for victims of child pornography to obtain restitution. A similar bill passed the U.S. Senate in 2015 but failed to pass the House of Representatives. The letter is directed to House and Judiciary Committee leaders. Today AG Reyes issued the following statement: 

“Victims need this bill. Child exploitation and abuse through pornography is one of the fastest growing crimes worldwide and certainly within our nation. A victim can be re-victimized his/her entire life from the dissemination of one child porn video. The number of children exploited globally has skyrocketed. The number of child porn images in the US processed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children increased by over two thousand percent in just a decade, and things have continued to get even worse,” 

“The number of illicit images confiscated in Utah by the AG’s Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce has grown alarmingly. Cases of youth being extorted or otherwise terrorized as victims of porn have risen exponentially everywhere. The only thing that has decreased is restitution for victims. That’s unacceptable. Congress can change that narrative by passing this law.

“I’m proud of all our colleagues who have joined us today in lending a voice to victims worldwide. It was a privilege partnering with Senator Orrin Hatch, a consistent advocate for children in need and a co-sponsor of this bill. I also want to thank those in the Utah victim advocate community. Powerful leaders like Hildegard Koenig in the Utah Office for Victims of Crime, Jim Swink from the Utah Council on Victims of Crime, University of Utah Law Professor Paul Cassell, Clay Olsen of Fight the New Drug, and Ruthie Pedregon of my office all stand up each day for victims throughout Utah.”

A 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Paroline v. United States held that while victims of child pornography are entitled to restitution, any individual defendant they sue is only liable for the harm caused by that one individual’s possession of the images.

“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s decision puts an enormous burden on victims of child pornography,” the letter from the AG coalition reads. “To receive restitution, a victim must pursue every case in which a defendant was found to possess images of the victim. As the Supreme Court recognized, digital images of each child victim are trafficked worldwide, and there may be thousands of defendants found to possess each victim’s images. As a result, victims are only able to receive a small amount of restitution from each defendant and must pursue thousands of cases to receive full restitution. Preventing victims from collecting full restitution protects defendants, who are shielded from having to pay meaningful costs to those they have harmed.”

The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act will improve the law by:

  • Clarifying congressional intent that victims be fully compensated for all the harms resulting from every perpetrator who contributed to their trauma;
  • Establishing a more meaningful definition of “full amount of a victim’s losses;”
  • Clarifying restitution owed to victims;
  • Establishing a process for victims to receive compensation from the Child Pornography Victims Reserve within the federal Crime Victims Fund;
  • Requiring a judicial appointment of a guardian ad litem for victims of child pornography production;
  • Allowing victims and their attorneys access to images in which they are depicted which is crucial for victim identification, expert testimony, forensic review, treatment, and the prevention and prosecution of future crimes; and
  • Requiring the U.S. Department of Justice to report on implementation within two years.

Every state attorney general in the nation signed the letter, along with attorneys general from the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

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NOTES:

  1. You can find a PDF copy of the letter at https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/NAAG-Final-Child-Pornography-Victim-bill.pdf.
  2. The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Utah with attorneys and staff in 20 divisions across the state. Visit attorneygeneral.utah.gov to learn more.

 


UTAH JOINS LAWSUIT AGAINST OBAMACARE

UTAH JOINS LAWSUIT AGAINST OBAMACARE
Twenty Attorneys General Challenge Constitutionality of Affordable Care Act

 

This week, Attorney General Sean Reyes joined a 20-state coalition lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The lawsuit asserts that since the tax reform passed by Congress eliminated the tax penalty of the ACA’s individual mandate, the ACA is now unlawful.

“Utah has always believed that the ACA was an impermissible overreach of federal authority,” said Attorney General Reyes. “The Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate commerce but not to compel it. The U.S. Supreme Court defined the individual mandate penalty as a tax which made the ACA constitutional. Because the recent tax reform legislation eliminated that penalty, Obamacare is no longer legally viable. This lawsuit will clear the path for the states and Congress to move forward with solutions that work better for Americans and are in line with constitutional limits on government power. We hope small business, individuals, and families whose costs and premiums increased dramatically due to the ACA can finally get much deserved relief.”

The Supreme Court construed the penalty as a tax, even though Congress had repeatedly denied that it was a tax and upheld the mandate as a permissible exercise of the taxing power. The Court and the DOJ under President Obama’s Administration repeatedly emphasized that the mandate was not severable from the rest of the ACA – that is, if the mandate was unconstitutional, the entire law must go.

Joining Utah in the coalition, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

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NOTES: 

  1. You can read the copy of the complaint here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/Texas_Wisconsin_et_al_v._U.S._et_al_-_ACA_Complaint_(02-26-18).pdf.

AG Reyes Launches Latino Day on the Hill

Last week Attorney General Sean Reyes had the chance to kick off Latino Day on the Hill celebrating the diversity, culture, and traditions of Utah’s Latino population. AG Reyes spoke proudly of his heritage and to the power the Latino community holds within the state of Utah, including helping him become the attorney general of the State of Utah.

He exhorted the attendees to be proud of their history, to use their voices to speak, and to remember, “…we can do so much more together than we can fractured, fighting one another.”

The event was hosted by the Utah Republican Latino Coalition and included, in addition to AG Reyes, U.S. Senator Mike Lee, Utah State Senator Luz Escamilla, Utah State Senator Deidre Henderson, State Rep. Angela Romero, State Rep. Mike McKell, and Viva El Folklore provided entertainment. 

You can find more coverage of Latino Day on the Hill below. 
https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900011161/utah-attorney-general-kicks-off-a-cultural-celebration-of-latinos-at-the-capitol.html

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=46267108&nid=148&title=utah-attorney-general-kicks-off-a-cultural-celebration-of-latinos-at-the-capitol

 

 


Hatch & Reyes Partner on On CLOUD Act

Art Raymond, of the Deseret News, wrote of the partnership occurring between Senator Orrin Hatch and Attorney General Sean Reyes as they tackle international digital privacy issues.  The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act, or CLOUD Act, would help regulate access issues and provide necessary protections for U.S. residents and companies.

Read his article here: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900011562/as-high-court-ruminates-hatch-reyes-lead-charge-on-foreign-data-access-revamp.html.

NOTES:

  1. For more information on the CLOUD Act and actions AG Reyes is taking, check out our previous post here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/featured-content/ag-reyes-co-leads-naag-effort-to-pass-cloud-act.
  2. AG Reyes wrote an op-ed piece regarding the CLOUD Act for The Hill. You can read that here: http://thehill.com/opinion/technology/364220-we-must-reconcile-privacy-and-safety-in-the-digital-era.
  3. You can read the letter of support for the CLOUD Act from AG Reyes and other state’s AGs to our Congressional leaders here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-2.21-CLOUD-Act-Letter.pdf.

AG Reyes and D.C. Opioid Press Conference

Attorney General Sean Reyes joined U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with several other state’s AGs, to address the nation’s opioid epidemic and deliver a new opioid policy announcement in a press conference in Washington, D.C. yesterday. AG Reyes shared about the effect of the epidemic in Utah and steps being taken to fight the addiction and trafficking of drugs statewide. In his statement, Reyes said,

“When we work together, we work best. There is hope, as devastating as this issue is, working together we can overcome and eradicate this threat from our communities.” 

To watch the entire press conference, go here: https://www.justice.gov/live. AG Reyes starts his statement about the fight in Utah at 30:22. 

See KUTV2’s coverage of the event below. 

 

 


ICAC Task Force Featured on ABC4’s Behind the Badge

Don Hudson of ABC4 featured the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, part of the Justice Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office, on last Friday’s Behind the Badge.

 

 

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) is a multi-jurisdictional task force that investigates and prosecutes individuals who use the Internet to exploit children. The Utah Attorney General (UAG) ICAC Task Force was created in 2000 and is now one of 61 ICAC task forces in the country. They focus on crimes related to sexual exploitation of a minor – whether possessing, distributing, or manufacturing child pornagraphy, enticing minors over the internet, or exchanging material deemed harmful to minors. The UAG ICAC Task Force has 32 local, state, and federal police agencies involved in the task force.

You can learn more about ICAC and how to keep your family safe, check out the ICAC Task Force here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/justice/internet-crimes-against-children-icac-task-force.


SafeUT App Downloaded Over 5,000 Times

On the heels of the deadly attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Utah itself experienced a string of high school threats of violence that resulted in the investigations at four different schools: Box Elder Middle School, Eastmont Middle School, Wasatch High School, and Springville High School. To help raise awareness of a tool that can help, KSL-TV and KSL Newsradio yesterday invited schools across the state to participate in a effort called Stand Up for a SafeUT. The day was dedicated to  highlighting the SafeUT App, how it can help with crisis interventions, and how it has helped thousands of students already.

The SafeUT App is a statewide service that provides real-time interactions straight from your smartphone. Licensed clinicians, from the University Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of Utah Health, are available 24/7 to respond to all incoming chats, texts, and calls. They provide supportive and crisis counseling, suicide prevention, and referral services. Additionally, students can submit confidential tips to school administrators on bullying, threats, or violence. 

 

 

The SafeUT App was created out of an effort to stem the rising tide of teen suicide in the state. In 2014, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and State Senator Daniel Thatcher proposed legislation to form a commission to explore solutions. AG Reyes, Sen. Thatcher and representatives from the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI), Utah Office of Education, and the School Safety and Crisis Line Commission unveiled the SafeUT Crisis & Safety Tipline for Utah students in 2016. 

Since its release, the SafeUT App has been downloaded over 33,000 times and clinicians have had conversations with over 19,000 students. The conversations range from bullying and depression, to suicide, cutting, and drugs. Currently, over 1900 tips or chats are sent in on average monthly, an increase from a monthly average of 160 two years ago. In addition, a whopping 86 planned school attacks have been stopped since 2016. 

 

 

Due to the spotlight from KSL, the SafeUT App has been downloaded over 5,000 times since coverage began on Wednesday. This is a monumental step towards protecting the children of Utah, keeping them safe, and alive.

Download the SafeUT app through the Apple App Store or Google Play. 

You can learn about the SafeUT app here: https://healthcare.utah.edu/uni/clinical-services/safe-ut/

For SafeUT statistics, go here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/SafeUT-Infographic.pdfSafeUT Infographic.

For more information about suicide and its impact on young children and teens in Utah, the Utah Health Department has an entire section dedicated to information surrounding youth suicide. You can find that here: http://health.utah.gov/vipp/teens/youth-suicide/ and statistical information here: http://health.utah.gov/vipp/data/suicide.html.


AG Reyes Co-leads NAAG Effort to Pass CLOUD Act

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes AND Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan Lead Bipartisan Coalition Urging Congress to Pass the CLOUD Act
36 Attorneys General Join Letter Calling on Congress to Pass Law

In a bipartisan letter sponsored by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan, and signed by the attorneys general of 34 other States, the National Association of Attorneys General today urged Congress to pass the Clarify Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act.  The CLOUD Act would update and amend several provisions of the Stored Communications Act (SCA).

The CLOUD Act, as stated in the letter,

“confirms law enforcement’s ability to obtain probable-caused based warrants for electronic communications stored abroad and creates a clear avenue for service providers to challenge an SCA warrant that targets a foreign person and which would require a provider to violate foreign law. The Act also creates incentives for our foreign partners to enter into bilateral agreements that will facilitate cross-border criminal investigations while ensuring that privacy and civil liberties are respected.”

Under the SCA, a law enforcement agency may obtain a warrant to search an individual’s email or another online account if a reviewing court finds probable cause that the account contains evidence of a crime. Once issued, an SCA warrant is served on a service provider who must then collect the requested data and provide it to law enforcement. State and local law enforcement agencies routinely use SCA warrants to investigate all manner of local crime, from drug trafficking to murder and child sexual exploitation.

Recently, however, some service providers have argued that an SCA warrant cannot be enforced when the data being sought is stored on a foreign server, even if the provider and the customer who created the data are in the United States and that data can be accessed from the United States. The providers and others have argued that requiring compliance with an SCA warrant in this situation would be an extraterritorial application of a domestic law and would raise significant privacy and international comity concerns. This dispute has spawned litigation across the country, including the case of United States v. Microsoft, which is currently pending in the United States Supreme Court. The letter urges Congress to pass the CLOUD Act as “an important step toward resolving this dispute.”

The letter was joined by the attorneys general of Vermont, Utah, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

 

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NOTES:

  1. Find a PDF copy of the letter at https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-2.21-CLOUD-Act-Letter.pdf.
  2. AG Sean Reyes wrote an op-ed for The Hill about privacy in a digital era. Read it here: http://thehill.com/opinion/technology/364220-we-must-reconcile-privacy-and-safety-in-the-digital-era.

 


AG Files National Monuments Amicus Brief

The cases challenging President Trump’s recent diminishment of two national monuments in the State of Utah are slated to be heard half a continent away.  We believe they should be heard locally.

This week, the Utah Attorney General filed a friend of the court brief in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the State of Utah, Garfield County, Kane County, and San Juan County.  It supports the Department of Justice’s request to transfer these two cases to Utah.

We argue that a court in Utah should hear these cases because

(1) Utah’s interests in them are greater than the interests of Washington, D.C.; and

(2) The cases could significantly affect Utah’s property interests in, and rights on, those lands.

You can read the Amicus Brief here: Consolidated Utah Monuments Amicus Brief.

 


Utah Attorney General

Attorney General Reyes’ Statement on School Shooting in Parkland, Florida

This evening, Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement regarding the school shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier today.

“Our hearts are breaking for the families of the shooting victims at Douglas High School in Florida. I can’t think of a worse nightmare for a parent. Our team has reached out to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to offer our condolences and support should they need additional therapists and advocates to help surviving students and the families of victims. We know Florida has generously sent personnel in the wake of mass shootings in other states.

“The Utah Attorney General’s Office’s Law Enforcement Division, in partnership with the Utah Department of Public Safety, will continue to train officers from around our state in simulated active shooter situations, praying that we will never see a school shooting like today’s and hoping that we will never have to face the tragedy of another Utah mall attack, newsroom assault, or university gunman.”


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