Alexander Aide to Remain in Custody in Child Porn Case

Friday, 13 Dec 2013 09:34 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander's now ex-chief of staff is being held in custody and was denied bail after being charged Wednesday with possession and distribution of child pornography.

A judge ruled that 35 year-old Jesse Ryan Loskarn will remain in custody until a preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday at 9:30 a.m. when bail will be considered, The Washington Post reports.

In the meantime Loskarn is being held by the U.S. Marshals Service as a flight risk and danger to the community, Justice Department officials said, according to The Tennessean.

Federal investigators arrested Loskarn after finding hundreds of videos of underage boys engaging in sexually explicit conduct on a computer in his home. One 28-minute video includes a file of a young girl who was raped in the woods by her "father."

According to court documents, Loskarn had purchased several videos between November 2010 and March 2011 from a Canadian company that was under investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Toronto Police Service, the Post reports.

A "Statement of Facts" released by the Justice Department alleges that Loskarn had been viewing and sharing child pornography with others for several years, according to Politico.

Alexander said in a statement he was "stunned, surprised and disappointed," and later announced that Loskarn had been removed from his staff.

"The courts will determine his guilt or innocence, but the information in the complaint is repugnant and disturbing," Alexander said in a statement, according to Politico.

Loskarn has worked as a congressional staffer since 2000 when he graduated from Tulane University. He served two House members before moving to the Senate Republican Conference where he became staff director in 2009 when Alexander was chairman. When Alexander stepped down as chairman in 2012, Loskarn became chief of staff in the senator's personal office, the Post reports.

Possession of child pornography has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison while distribution of it carries a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years.

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