By Blake Neff - 12/16/13 10:22 AM EST
Jesse Ryan Loskarn, the former chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), was released into home detention Monday morning for the duration of his prosecution on charges of possessing and attempting to distribute child pornography.
Prosecutor Mi Yung Park argued for keeping Loskarn incarcerated, arguing that, even with heavy supervision, there was no way to guarantee Loskarn did not gain access to the Internet. She also argued that Loskarn was at risk of fleeing or harming himself if released, and emphasized that the child pornography he is accused of possessing is particularly graphic.
Defense attorney Pamela Satterfield countered by saying that Loskarn's parents, brother and sister-in-law were willing to cooperate to ensure that he is under constant supervision during his home detention, and said any risk of self-harm was greatly exaggerated.
Magistrate Judge John Facciola accepted the defense's arguments, and cited Loskarn's lack of prior criminal offenses, the apparent absence of any drug usage and the close involvement of his family as justifications for his pre-trial release. Facciola, however, decided to impose a full home detention, rather than merely imposing a curfew, due to the severity of the charges and the difficulty of ensuring Loskarn does not gain access to the Internet.
The case will now proceed to a grand jury.
If convicted of the more severe charge of attempting to distribute child pornography, Loskarn faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
—This report was updated at 10:57 a.m.