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VOL. 128 | NO. 245 | Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tennessee Senator's Fired Chief of Staff Ordered Freed

JESSICA GRESKO | Associated Press

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The fired chief of staff for Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander will live with his parents in Maryland and be electronically monitored while he awaits prosecution on charges of possession and attempted distribution of child pornography.

A federal judge allowed Ryan Loskarn to be released from custody after a hearing Monday. Loskarn's lawyers argued that the 35-year-old had no prior convictions or arrests and that he should be freed. Prosecutors opposed the request.

Magistrate Judge John Facciola ordered Loskarn to be confined to his parents' home on the monitor and isn't allowed any access to the Internet.

Loskarn's parents appeared in court, and his father stood with his arm around his wife as she told the judge that they have no home computer and that cellphones and iPads are password protected. They promised to ensure their son would have no access to the Internet. They have no young children living in the home, they told the judge. Loskarn's parents declined comment after the hearing.

Before his arrest last Wednesday, Loskarn had spent most of his professional life working on Capitol Hill, his lawyers wrote in court documents. He had been the chief of staff for Alexander, a Republican, for two years before he was fired after his arrest.

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 was also accused of offering child pornography files for download from his home computer.

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

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

Prosecutor Mi Yung Park said Monday that prosecutors plan to bring the case before a grand jury in January. Loskarn will remain at his parents' home pending the grand jury's action, and the case will move forward if the panel indicts him.

Follow Jessica Gresko at www.twitter.com/jessicagresko

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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