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.