Ex-Senate staffer appears in court on porn charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senator's former chief of staff has made his first court appearance in Washington on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography.

Ryan Loskarn was fired as chief of staff for Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander yesterday after his arrest. A judge has agreed to hold him until a preliminary hearing on Monday.

According to a federal court filing, police used a ram to enter his home yesterday and noticed that he put something on a ledge outside a window. The filing says it turned out to be a portable hard drive with videos depicting child pornography.

The filing said U.S. postal inspectors had been investigating a movie production company -- a majority of whose films featured young nude boys. It said they found that Loskarn had made several purchases from the company in 2010 and 2011.

According to the filing, investigators in October identified Loskarn's residential IP address on a peer-to-peer network offering files that authorities said had names "that are consistent with child pornography."

Loskarn was a rising star on Capitol Hill. He had spent the past decade working his way up to increasingly important posts in the House and then the Senate.

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APPHOTO AX101: In this image taken from video and released by WJLA TV, U.S. Postal police walk with Ryan Loskarn, center, chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Washington D.C. Alexander has replaced his chief of staff after learning the staffer's home was being searched as part of a child pornography investigation. U.S. Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement that Loskarn was arrested based on probable cause for possession and distribution of child pornography charges. (AP Photo/WJLA TV) (11 Dec 2013)

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APPHOTO AX103: In this Jan. 9, 2013 photo, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, leaves the Tennessee House of Representatives chamber with his chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn, right, in Nashville, Tenn. Alexander said Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, that he has placed Loskarn on unpaid leave after learning the staffer's home was being searched as part of a child pornography investigation. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) (11 Dec 2013)

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