U.S. senator's ex-top aide under house arrest in child porn case

Lacey Johnson

By Lacey Johnson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander's ex-chief of staff on Monday was ordered into indefinite house arrest by a U.S. judge while he awaits trial on federal child pornography charges.

Jesse Loskarn, 35, who was arrested on Wednesday by U.S. postal agents on suspicion of possessing and attempting to distribute child pornography, waived his right to a preliminary hearing in U.S. District Court. His case will go directly to a grand jury.

Alexander, a Tennessee Republican seeking a third term next year, fired Loskarn following his arrest.

Magistrate Judge John Facciola in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia released Loskarn into the custody of his parents, who live in Maryland with Loskarn's brother and sister-in-law. Facciola ordered Loskarn to have no access to the Internet while under house arrest.

A criminal complaint said a hard drive seized at Loskarn's home in Washington contained footage of a prepubescent girl being molested, along with hundreds of videos of underage boys engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

The arrest stemmed from an investigation launched in 2010 by the Postal Inspection Service and Toronto police into a movie production company that made films featuring naked young boys, according to the criminal complaint. One of the company's customers was Loskarn.

As part of his supervision program, Loskarn must wear an electronic ankle monitoring bracelet and surrender his passport, among other restrictions.

If convicted, Loskarn faces a total maximum of 30 years in prison for the two charges.

(Editing by Diane Craft)