American Scene: Court rules child-porn victims can sue viewers for damages

NEW ORLEANS — Child-pornography victims can recover money from people convicted of viewing their abuse without having to show a link between the crime and their injuries, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The decision conflicts with rulings by several other federal circuits, possibly setting the stage for a Supreme Court challenge.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a woman, identified as “Amy” in court documents, was entitled to restitution from Texas resident Doyle Randall Paroline and New Orleans resident Michael Wright, both of whom pleaded guilty in separate cases to possessing child pornography that included images of Amy.

OREGON

Boy Scouts to open secret ‘perversion’ files to police

PORTLAND — The Boy Scouts of America plan to begin doing what critics argue they should have done decades ago — bring suspected abusers named in the organization’s so-called “perversion” files to the attention of police departments and sheriff’s offices across the country.

The Scouts have, until now, argued they did all they could to prevent sex abuse within their ranks by spending a century tracking pedophiles and using those records to keep known sex offenders out of their organization. But a court-ordered release of the perversion files from 1965 to 1985, expected sometime in October, has prompted the organization to go back into the files and report any offenders who may have fallen through the cracks.

The review could prompt new criminal prosecutions.

The Scouts began keeping the files shortly after the organization’s creation in 1910, when pedophilia was largely a crime dealt with privately, not publicly. Some of the files released in 1991, detailing cases from 1971 to 1991, showed repeated instances of Scouts leaders failing to disclose sex abuse to authorities, even when they had a confession.

OHIO

Woman charged with dragging man with car

CINCINNATI — A southwestern Ohio woman has pleaded not guilty to dragging a man with her car Saturday for three-quarters of a mile and running over his ankle.

Donald Brownlee, 53, says he was in his friend’s truck at a stop sign when a car driven by Brandi Lynn Stuntebeck, 31, hit them.

After cornering the fleeing driver in a cul-de-sac, both men got out. Mr. Brownlee says he had no choice but to grab the woman’s open passenger-side window when she took a sharp turn. He says she kept driving as he clutched the window and begged her to slow down. Mr. Brownlee was able to let go when Ms. Stuntebeck hit a speed bump. He suffered minor injuries.

Ex-Ohio State star charged in road rage shooting

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