United States District Court, District of Columbia
KESSLER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
December 10, 2009, Defendant Michael Monzel pled guilty to
one count of distribution of child pornography in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2) and one count of possession of
child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
2252(a)(4)(B). On October 22, 2010, this Court found that
Defendant's conduct was a proximate cause of the victim
"Amy's" losses. [Dkt. No. 44]. On January 22,
2011, the Court ordered Defendant to pay $5, 000 in
restitution to Amy. [Dkt. No. 50].
April 19, 2011, our Court of Appeals found that the
restitution award to Amy was less than the harm the Defendant
caused and remanded the case for reconsideration. United
States v. Monzel, 641 F.3d 528 (D.C. Cir.), cert,
denied, 132 S.Ct. 756 (2011) . Following remand, this Court
issued an opinion on November 6, 2012, finding that the
Government had failed to carry its burden of proving by a
preponderance of the evidence the amount of Amy's losses
caused by Defendant, and therefore denied the
Government's Supplemental Request for Restitution. [Dkt.
No. 70]. On August 8, 2014, our Court of Appeals issued its
mandate vacating this Court's November 6, 2012 Opinion
denying additional restitution to Amy and further instructing
this Court to re-determine restitution for Amy in a manner
consistent with the Supreme Court's decision in
United States v. Paroline, 134 S.Ct. 1710 (2014).
[Dkt. No. 91].
matter is again before the Court on the Government's
Supplemental Motion for Restitution pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
Paroline, the Supreme Court examined "how to
determine the amount of restitution a possessor of child
pornography must pay to the victim whose childhood abuse
appears in [the] pornographic materials possessed." 134
S.Ct. at 1716. The Court held that restitution is
"proper under § 2259 only to the extent the
defendant's offense proximately caused a victim's
losses." Id. at 1722. Proximate cause is a
"flexible concept" that "generally refers to
the basic requirement that . . . there must be some direct
relation between the injury asserted and the injurious
conduct alleged." Id. at 1719 (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted).
[W] here it can be shown both that a defendant possessed a
victim's images and that a victim has outstanding losses
caused by the continuing traffic in those images but where it
is impossible to trace a particular amount of those losses to
the individual defendant by recourse to a more traditional
causal inquiry, a court applying § 2259 should order
restitution in an amount that comports with the
defendant's relative role in the causal process
that underlies the victim's general losses."
Id. at 1727 (emphasis added). However, the
restitution amount should be neither "severe, " nor
"token or nominal." Id. An award that is
neither severe nor nominal "serve[s] the twin goals of
helping the victim achieve eventual restitution for all her
[or his] child-pornography losses and impressing upon
offenders the fact that child-pornography crimes, even simple
possession, affect real victims." Id.
Supreme Court did not adopt a formula for determining
restitution in this type of case. Indeed, the Court said,
"[t]his cannot be a precise mathematical inquiry and
involves the use of discretion and sound judgment."
Id. at 1728. To determine an appropriate restitution
amount, the court must first determine "the amount of
the victim's losses caused by the continuing traffic in
the victim's images." Id. at 1728. After
the court has determined the amount of the victim's total
losses, the court must weigh several factors in determining
the relative causal significance of the defendant's
conduct in relation to the victim's total losses. The
factors to be considered include:
the number of past criminal defendants found to have
contributed to the victim's general losses; reasonable
predictions of the number of future offenders likely to be
caught and convicted for crimes contributing to the
victim's general losses; any available and reasonably
reliable estimate of the broader number of offenders involved
(most of whom will, of course, never be caught or convicted);
whether the defendant reproduced or distributed images of the
victim; whether the defendant had any connection to the
initial production of the images; how many images of the
victim the defendant possessed; and other facts relevant to
the defendant's relative causal role.
Id. at 1728.
first request for restitution, the Government estimated that
Amy's total loss was $3, 263, 758 for medical services,
lost income, attorney's fees, and other costs.
See Dkt. No. 44 at 17. In the Government's
second request for restitution, the Government maintained
that loss amount (with the exception of reducing her claim
for specific expenses by $20, 563). See Dkt. No. 7 0
at 1. In the instant motion, the Government makes an
additional request for $8, 886, 300 for reduction in the