Former GOP Aide, Facing Child Porn Charges, Found Dead of Apparent Suicide

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 24 2014 2:13 PM

Former GOP Aide, Facing Child Porn Charges, Found Dead of Apparent Suicide

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Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) speaks as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) looks on during a news conference on Capitol Hill, November 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Jesse Ryan Loskarn, the former chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexandar, was found dead in his parent's Maryland home on Thursday, his family and police officials said today. The news comes only weeks after Loskarn had been arrested and charged with possessing and intending to distribute child porn.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Police have not officially ruled Loskarn's death a suicide, although that appears to be the working theory. He was found dead by his family at around noon in the basement of the home. A spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland told reporters that he mostly likely died after hanging himself. “For everyone involved, this is a sad and tragic story from beginning to end.," Alexander said in a statement Friday.

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Here's the Washington Post on Loskarn's career as a Republican staffer:

Known as a fast-rising GOP operative, the 35-year old began his career working for House lawmakers, moved next to the Senate Republican messaging shop and finally served as chief of staff to Alexander.
As with many longtime congressional staffers who ascend to top jobs in the Senate, Loskarn began his career as an aide to former Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and the House Rules Committee. In 2007, he became a spokesman for the Senate Republican Conference – the messaging shop for Republican senators. Colleagues in both parties and the reporters he worked with considered him a kind and deft communications staffer with easy access to top aides and senators.
He became staff director of the Republican Conference in 2009 when Alexander assumed control of the office. Alexander later asked Loskarn to run his personal office after the senator stepped down from his leadership role.

That professional ascent came to a sudden halt last month when he was arrrested on federal charges. Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, quickly cut ties with Loskarn upon learning of the news. If he had been convicted, the 35-year-old faced up to 10 years on the possession charge and between five and 20 years on the distribution charge, according to the Associated Press.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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