A mother in Anne Arundel County, Maryland is suing more than 180 people who she says viewed child pornography depicting her two young daughters.
The girls' mother, who goes by Jane Doe in the complaint, is seeking $8 million in compensatory damages and $24 million in punitive damages from over 180 people, some of whom were identified in the lawsuit, others who remained anonymous. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
The lawsuit says that in 2008 the girls, then four and six, were forced to engage in sexual acts with their father. The lawsuit says the girls' father and a co-conspirator produced images and video to gain entry into a group of individuals who trade child pornography.
The children's father and a co-defendant pleaded guilty to federal charges relating to the production of pornography and are serving 45 and 36 years in prison respectively.
The lawsuit is based on a federal statute designed to break down the growing market for child porn by imposing civil penalties on those who create, trade and view it.