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Facing child porn charges, former aide to U.S. senator found dead

By David Dishneau

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:31 a.m. HST, Jan 25, 2014

A former aide to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander hanged himself in his parents' basement in Maryland, just weeks after his arrest on child pornography charges, officials said Friday.

Ryan Loskarn, 35, was pronounced dead in Sykesville, Md., at just after noon Thursday, said Bruce Goldfarb, a spokesman for the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore. He said the death was ruled a suicide.

Family members called police after finding Loskarn unresponsive in the basement where he had been living, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office said in a statement posted on its website.

Maj. Phillip Kasten of the sheriff's office said additional details may not be released until the investigation is finished. He said that could take several weeks

Loskarn had been allowed to live with his parents while awaiting trial on charges of possession and attempted distribution of child pornography. He was required to be electronically monitored.

Loskarn had been chief of staff for Alexander, R-Tennessee, for two years before his arrest. Loskarn was fired immediately after his arrest.

"For everyone involved, this is a sad and tragic story from beginning to end," Alexander said in a statement.

David Schertler, a Washington lawyer whose firm represented Loskarn, said the firm did not have an immediate comment on Loskarn's death.

Loskarn was arrested Dec. 11. Prosecutors had been given until Feb.10 to return an indictment. Loskarn's lawyer said in a court filing last month that the two sides planned to try to resolve the case.

According to court documents, law enforcement officials believe that between November 2010 and March 2011, Loskarn made several purchases from a website that was offering child pornography DVDs. Loskarn also was accused of offering child pornography files for download from his home computer.

Court documents say that when law enforcement officials arrived to search his Washington home, one official watched as Loskarn appeared to place an object outside a window. Officials later found a portable hard drive in that location, and a prosecutor said the drive contained at least 200 videos of child pornography.

If convicted, Loskarn had faced up to 10 years on the possession charge and a minimum of five and maximum of 20 years on the distribution charge.

According to Loskarn's biography on his LinkedIn account and in previous communications for Alexander's office, he graduated from Tulane University in 2000 and went to work for retired Republican U.S. Rep. Wally Herger of California as a legal assistant. He later was the communications director for U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, and eventually became staff director for the Senate Republican Conference.

Loskarn was well versed in Senate procedure and was considered a sharp prognosticator of how debates and standoffs would play out. He was known to share colorful anecdotes and keen observations about body language and mood in the Senate.

Associated Press writers Erik Schelzig in Nashville, Tenn., and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

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1local wrote:
would still be working if he was with DLNR....
on January 24,2014 | 08:03AM
Upperkula wrote:
Thinking with the wrong head, now he's dead from a rope around head
on January 24,2014 | 08:06AM
HanabataDays wrote:
"between November 2010 and March 2011, Loskarn made several purchases from a website that was offering child pornography DVDs" -- which as I understand it was a sting website. But, gee whiz, it stung a Republican.
on January 24,2014 | 08:18AM
aomohoa wrote:
Good. Save the taxpayers some money. What a coward, to do it in his parents basement. Selfish evil person.
on January 24,2014 | 08:23AM
So you'd rather he go out to a public location to hang himself? I am not trying to condone his motives or what he had done, but, whew, you're a cold dude.
on January 24,2014 | 11:34AM
mokebla wrote:
Just sowing and reaping.
on January 24,2014 | 02:07PM
Snator wrote:
I'd hang myself if I was living in my parents basement at age 35, regardless of any charges.
on January 24,2014 | 08:46AM
inverse wrote:
You might be trying to make a funny but on a serious note in Hawaii that would not be unusual. Given the cost of housing in Hawaii many children return to their parents home to live and raise a family. Parents even build additions to their home to create Ohana housing. You can tell which house has this type of living arrangement with the extra number of cars all parked in a single home. Not ideal but that is the price of living in "paradise". No sense talking about "affordable" housing cause the so call affordable housing for those super skyscrapers being built with zone variances in Kakaako or urban sprawl in Kapolei or the Castle and Cooke housing close to the H1/H2 interchange is far from 'affordable".
on January 24,2014 | 10:07AM
I am sure due to what had transpired, he probably felt threatened in his home and felt best to move into his parents home until things could get resolved.
on January 24,2014 | 11:35AM
squidman22 wrote:
He hit rock bottom and didn't turn to God.
on January 24,2014 | 09:19AM
cojef wrote:
Keep your PC clean and avoid portable hard drives with porno.
on January 24,2014 | 02:18PM
cojef wrote:
Oops, missed again, Avoid hard drives with dirty pictures and keep your PC free of porno.
on January 24,2014 | 02:19PM
cojef wrote:
3rd time, keep your PC clean and free of dirty pictures.
on January 24,2014 | 02:20PM
username_required wrote:
Maybe the NSA can do some community service and out all these dudes in one fell swoop.
on January 24,2014 | 02:22PM
SteveToo wrote:
No loss to the world.
on January 24,2014 | 07:04PM
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