Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sen. Lamar Alexander's Chief Of Staff Arrested On Child Porn Charges

Ryan Loskarn, chief of staff to Tennessee's Sen. Lamar Alexander (R), was arrested by U.S. postal inspectors for possession and distribution of child pornography. Sen. Alexander, expressing shock at news of Loskarn's arrest, initially placed him on unpaid leave but later fired him before the end of the day. Sen. Alexander is up for re-election next year and is facing a primary challenge by a Tea Party candidate, Joe Carr. In recent months, Alexander had become an outspoken opponent of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, urging changes in the law if not repeal. He has also been highly critical of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's leadership in the Senate, who he blamed for the Senate's dysfunction.

UPDATE: Talking Points Memo is reporting that Loskarn's arrest stems from a three-year child exploitation investigation originating in Canada known as Project Spade. More than 300 arrests have taken place around the world over the past several years, including 76 that have taken place in the United States. Pornographic videos of primarily young boys were being disseminated through the mail and the Internet by a movie production and distribution company in Toronto run by Brian Way. Loskarn allegedly made several purchases from the company between November 2010 and March 2011. It's not clear whether there is any connection between these arrests and those arrests and prosecutions announced in recent months by U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett here in Indiana, which included the arrests of two gay men who traveled from Australia to the U.S. with a young boy they had adopted who they were allowing to be sexually exploited and filmed by other male adults.

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