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Top aide to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander arraigned on child porn charges

  |   Dec. 12, 2013 at 7:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., was arraigned Thursday after being arrested on child pornography charges, officials say.

U.S. Postal Inspection Service inspectors raided Loskarn's Washington home and recovered a portable hard drive that contained "digital videos depicting child pornography," a complaint filed Thursday indicated, MSNBC reported.

Officials sought a search warrant after finding his Internet IP address on a peer-to-peer network that appeared to traffic in child pornography.

Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr earlier said Jesse Ryan Loskarn was arrested by postal service investigators "based on probable cause for possession and distribution of child pornography charges," the (Nashville) Tennessean reported.

"I am stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned," Alexander said in a statement Wednesday morning.

The senator initially said he had put Loskarn on unpaid leave. Wednesday afternoon, in a subsequent statement, Alexander said he has fired his chief of staff.

"The courts will judge Mr. Loskarn's guilt or innocence, but under these circumstances, he cannot continue to fulfill his duties as chief of staff of this office," the statement said.

Loskarn, 35, had held his position since January 2012, his LinkedIn page said. Congressional records indicate he made about $169,000 a year

Alexander named David Cleary, his legislative director since 2011, as his new chief of staff.

Roll Call has named Loskarn one of its "Fabulous 50 Movers and Shakers" several times.

Loskarn remained in jail pending a hearing scheduled Thursday.

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