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“End User” Ex-Pfizer Exec Ordered To Pay Victim $200,000 In Internet Porn Case

Connecticut- A federal judge broke new legal ground today in favor of exploited children when he ordered a wealthy former Pfizer executive to pay about $200,000 to a teenage girl whose images the executive had obtained from a pornographic Internet site.

Prior to Monday’s ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton, federal courts around the country had imposed such restitution payments only on persons involved in the direct exploitation of children, such as those convicted of sexual assault or producing obscene photographic images of child victims.

Former Pfizer executive Alan Hesketh had argued, unsuccessfully, that he should not be liable for restitution payments because he was only an end user of the images.

Federal prosecutors said they had no position on the precedent-setting question of whether collectors of child pornography should be financially liable to the children whose images they collect. The U.S. Attorney’s office, however, filed a lengthy memo with Eginton that laid out a compelling argument for restitution.

Hesketh, British citizen and former resident of Stonington, was fired from his job as Pfizer’s vice president and global patent director after his arrest on pornography charges in March 2008. He was sentenced in October to 78 months in prison for possessing and distributing about 2,000 obscene photographs.

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