Child porn found on computer hard drive of senator’s fired chief of staff, court papers say

December 12, 2013

Federal investigators found hundreds of videos depicting underage boys engaging in sexually explicit conduct on a computer hard drive recovered from the home of the former chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), according to court documents filed Thursday.

Jesse R. Loskarn, 35, was arrested this week on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography and will remain in custody before a detention hearing scheduled for Monday, a judge ruled.

According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, Loskarn purchased several videos between November 2010 and March 2011 from a movie production company that was under investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Toronto Police Service.

Through Loskarn’s IP address and a file-sharing network, investigators said in the criminal complaint, authorities were able to obtain copies of files Loskarn allegedly downloaded. One 28-minute video includes sexually explicit scenes involving a girl between the ages of 6 and 9.

Before Loskarn’s arrest at his D.C. home on Wednesday, his former boss on the Hill said in a statement that he was “stunned, surprised and disappointed.” Later in the day, Alexander announced that he had “removed” Loskarn from his staff.

Dressed in jeans and a gray pullover, Loskarn spoke briefly Thursday to answer a judge’s questions during his initial five-minute appearance in a courtroom. Department of Justice trial attorney Mi Yung Park asked Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola to delay the detention hearing until Monday and said Loskarn should remain in custody until then because he is accused of a “crime of violence involving a minor.”

Pamela S. Satterfield, Loskarn’s attorney, declined to comment.

When investigators announced their presence at Loskarn’s home Wednesday, they said in court papers, they observed Loskarn leaning out of a second-story window. He appeared to place something outside of the window on a ledge.

Law enforcement officials had to use a battering ram to gain entry into Loskarn’s home, according to the complaint.

The Postal Inspection Service later recovered a hard drive from the roof that contained digital videos of child pornography, including one involving a partly disrobed prepubescent girl, according to court papers. The same hard drive contained hundreds of videos depicting underage boys, investigators said.

Loskarn “did not admit putting the hard drive outside but added that there is nothing additional outside the residence,” according to the complaint filed by Brian Bone, a U.S. postal inspector.
Loskarn did admit, investigators said, that he owns an external Toshiba hard drive like the one recovered from the ledge.

On Capitol Hill, Loskarn rose through the ranks of congressional staffers as an aide to two House members before becoming staff director for the Senate Republican Conference in 2009, when Alexander was chairman. Loskarn later became chief of staff in the senator’s personal office.

Ann covers legal affairs in the District and Maryland for the Washington Post. Ann previously covered state government and politics in California, New Hampshire and Maryland. She joined the Post in 2005.
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