In United States v. Rothenberg, No. 17-12349 (May 8, 2019) (Hull, Ed Carnes, Rosenbaum), the Court affirmed 8 child pornography restitution awards and vacated 1 award, providing a detailed analysis how courts should calculate restitution in these cases.
Applying the Supreme Court's decision in Paroline, and reviewing the opinions from other circuits in detail, the Court primarily held, after a lengthy discussion, that district courts are not required to "disaggregate" the victim's losses caused by the initial abuser, distributors, and possessors when calculating restitution.
Next, the Court held that Paroline abrogated Eleventh Circuit precedent holding that restitution cannot be based on loss estimates that were made before the particular defendant's arrest and thus before the victim was apprised of his offense.
Next, the Court held that, although two victims did not submit expert reports detailing their losses, no such report was required. As to one of the victims, the Court found that the evidence supported the award because the victim's attorney submitted a declaration estimating her likely losses based on the attorney's experience representing similar victims. As to another victim, however, the Court found the evidence insufficient because the victim's attorney did not submit any reasonable estimate of the victim's total losses. Rather, that attorney relied on a civil law and a proposed bill that never became law, neither of which established her losses.