Judge says prosecutors have ‘a very strong case’ against fired Alexander aide

A federal judge says prosecutors have what appears to be a strong case against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s former chief of staff, who is facing child pornography charges, reports Michael Collins.

Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola said in court papers filed on Tuesday that the supervision program in which he has placed Jesse Ryan Loskarn, 35, reduces the risk that he will continue to download child pornography.

Facciola freed Loskarn from jail on Dec. 16 and allowed him to stay at his parents’ home in Maryland under high-intensity electronic monitoring while he awaits prosecution on the charges, which involve downloading child pornography from the Internet and attempting to distribute it.

“While that is, to put it mildly, a dangerous crime involving the recorded sexual exploitation of children and the government has what appears to be a very strong case, I have prohibited the defendant’s use of the Internet,” Facciola wrote in the court papers, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Loskarn’s parents, Chuck and Laura Loskarn, told the judge during a hearing on Dec. 16 that the only devices in their home capable of connecting with the Internet are their iPads, which are password protected. The parents promised they would not share the passwords with their son.

What’s more, Facciola wrote, Loskarn “surely appreciates now, if he did not appreciate it before, how law enforcement can track those who download child pornography from the Internet. I conclude, therefore, that the risk of his resuming the downloading of child pornography is not great.”

Loskarn was arrested Dec. 11 during a raid on his home in southwestern Washington and charged with possession of and attempting to distribute child pornography.