Ex-staffer arraigned on child porn charges

A former chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) was arraigned Thursday afternoon on charges of possessing and attempting to distribute child pornography.

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Jesse Ryan Loskarn, 35, who goes by his middle name, was arrested on Wednesday after a police raid at his home in Southeast Washington, D.C.

The criminal complaint against Loskarn accuses him of purchasing illegal pornographic videos and of sharing child pornography on peer-to-peer computer networks.

Investigators from the United States Postal Service said in the complaint that they witnessed Loskarn place a hard drive with child pornography outside of his house during Wednesday's raid.

The inspectors rammed into Loskarn’s home after he did not respond to their announcement, “Police search warrant, open the door,” the filing says.

One inspector said Loskarn appeared in a “nervous state looking right and left” as they searched his home for evidence.

That inspector says he saw Loskarn place a portable hard drive outside a window before closing it. An official retrieved the item after everyone exited the home, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors said a computer forensic examiner located digital videos depicting child porn on the hard drive. One video showed an eight-year-old girl with a man, according to the complaint.  

Investigators also allege that between November 2010 and March 2011, Loskarn purchased DVDs of films with young nude boys.

In early October, inspectors from the U.S. Postal Service say they found Loskarn’s computer IP address and discovered that he had shared pornographic videos on an online network, including one that portrayed a girl who might have been as young as six years old.

After the raid, Loskarn was arrested and waived his Miranda rights.

Alexander, who initially announced Wednesday he put Loskarn on administrative leave, later fired him and named a new chief of staff.

Loskarn's next court appearance has been scheduled for Dec. 16. He is being held as a potential flight risk and "danger to the community."

If convicted of distributing child pornography, Loskarn faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison with a maximum of 20 years. A conviction only on charges of possession would have the same maximum of 20 years, but no minimum penalty.

Warning: Graphic content: USPIS Statement of Facts

— This story was first posted at 1:44 p.m. and has been updated.