Tag Archives: pornography

Loskarn suicide letter says porno videos ‘matched my own childhood abuse’

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s former chief of staff wrote in a letter shortly before hanging himself that he had been sexually abused as a child and that he found himself drawn to child pornography because the violence in the videos “matched my own childhood abuse,” reports Michael Collins.

“This is my deepest, darkest secret,” Jesse Ryan Loskarn wrote shortly before taking his own life.

Loskarn, facing charges of child pornography, apologized to his family and friends and the children whose sexual exploitation was depicted in the videos he was accused of buying and distributing.

“I perpetrated your abuse, and that will be a burden on my soul for the rest of my life,” he said.

Loskarn, 35, was found dead in his parents’ home in Sykesville, Md., last Thursday after apparently hanging himself. A judge had allowed him to live with his parents while he waited to see if a grand jury would indict him on the child pornography charges.

Loskarn had been arrrested at his home in southeast Washington on Dec. 11 on charges of buying and distributing child pornography.

… Loskarn’s rapid downfall stunned his colleagues and friends on Capitol Hill and left them wondering how the savvy political operative they had come to know could be the same person who, according to court records, purchased more than 200 videos showing young boys being sexually abused.

In his letter, which was found after his death and which his family has posted online, Loskarn wrote that he found himself asking the same question.

“There seem to be many answers and none at all,” he wrote.

In the letter, Loskarn agonized over the pain he had caused his family and friends. “The news coverage of my spectacular fall makes it impossible for me to crawl in a hole and disappear,” he wrote. “I’ve hurt every single human being I’ve ever known, and the details of my shame are preserved on the internet for all time. There is no escape.”

Loskarn said he first discovered child pornography during a search for music on a peer-to-peer network. “I wasn’t seeking it, but I didn’t turn away when I saw it,” he said. “Until that moment, the only place I’d seen these sorts of images was in my mind.”

Loskarn said he was drawn to the images because they reflected the sexual abuse he had experienced as a child as young as age 5. “It’s painful and humiliating to admit to myself, let alone the whole world,” he wrote, “but I pictured myself as a child in the image or video. The more an image mirrored some element of my memories and took me back, the more I felt a connection.”

Loskarn didn’t say who abused him but wrote that, as a child, he didn’t understand what had happened.

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.

Fired UT Foundation Executive Had Past History of Child Molestation

A federal magistrate judge today ordered a former University of Tennessee Foundation executive to be jailed pending trial in a child pornography case, reports the News Sentinel.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley cited as a primary cause the fact that Bruce O. Downsbrough admitted to investigators that he had molested as many as five boys in the past.
“Taking away child pornography (as a condition of release) could actually increase the potential for contact offenses,” Shirley ruled.
Downsbrough, 60, who until last week was chief operating officer for the foundation, pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a child and sexual assault in the third degree in a 1986 Colorado case, according to testimony. The victims, according to testimony today, were ages 10 and 11.
Knoxville Police Department Investigator Tom Evans testified that Downsbrough told him he paid roughly $3,500 for counseling for the two boys.
In one case he was given a two-year deferred sentence, and the case was eventually dismissed. In the second case, he was sentenced to two years of probation, according to testimony.
It was not clear from testimony whether that conviction remains on his record.
A federal grand jury last week in East Tennessee returend a four-count indictment against Downsbrough alleging he either received in the mail or downloaded some 20,000 child pornography images as well as several videos.
His house in the Knoxville area was searched in November. He remained employed by the UT Foundation during a follow-up investigation. He was indicted last week and then terminated from his position as chief operating officer.

UT Foundation Executive Facing Child Porn Charges

From the News Sentinel:
A top officer over the University of Tennessee Foundation is facing federal child porn charges, accused of downloading and possessing illegal material on a laptop.
Bruce O. Downsbrough, the chief operating officer and executive vice president of the foundation, UT’s fundraising arm, was taken into custody Tuesday morning by agents with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Postal Service and authorities with the Knoxville Police Department.
He has been placed on administrative leave. The investigation does not appear to be related to his duties at UT, said spokeswoman Gina Stafford in statement.
He faces a four-count indictment, which was unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
The indictment alleges that on Dec. 4, 2008, Downsbrough downloaded child pornography. He is again accused of downloading the material on Feb. 8, 2009 and on an unspecified date in April 2012.
The charging document indicates that federal authorities searched Downsbrough’s home on Nov. 16, 2012. According to records, they discovered 19 digital video discs as well as images on a computer hard drive.

Full story HERE

The Return of ‘Tax Porn, Not Corn’

A state lawmaker from Rutherford County has proposed a tax that could increase state revenue by $55 million, reports WTVF-TV. Representative Joe Carr of Lascassas said taxing adult businesses, and the products they sell, is a way to help all Tennesseans.
“If we can’t outlaw it, and the Supreme Court says we cannot, then what we’ll do is put a 25% tax on adult material, hard core pornography,” Representative Carr said.
Carr claims his proposal is about more than just money. He said his real concern is about saving marriages. He said that Tennessee has one of the highest divorce rates and he’s hoping his proposal will change that.
According to the bill he filed, the adult entertainment industry generates nearly $222 million a year in Tennessee.
A 25 % sales tax would be applied to adult movies, books or admission to any adult entertainment venue. It would also apply to escort services and cabarets.
(Note: The bill is HB3081, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville. Revenue from the new tax would be used to reduce the sales tax on food. It’s similar to Campfield’s “tax porn, not corn” proposal back in 2009. Story from then, HERE).
Update: See also, Sen. Campfield’s blog post on the subject, entitled “It’s a Sexy Bill.’