Ex-Senate staffer who faced child porn charges found dead

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(CNN) — A former U.S. Senate aide who was charged last month with possessing child pornography was found dead Thursday in a Maryland home where he’s been living with relatives, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland said.

Investigators preliminarily believe Jesse Ryan Loskarn “may have taken his own life,” the office said.

Loskarn, 35, was U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s chief of staff when Loskarn was arrested in December. Alexander, R-Tennessee, quickly replaced him.

An affidavit from a U.S. postal inspector alleged Loskarn made several purchases in 2010 and 2011 from a Canadian company selling sexually explicit DVDs and streaming videos, the majority of which featured underage nude boys.

Federal investigators also said that in October, child pornography files were being offered for download on an Internet peer-to-peer network linked to Loskarn’s residential IP address.

It included a 28-minute video of graphic material featuring children reportedly as young as 6 years old, authorities said.

Loskarn, a Maryland native who had previously worked for two Republican House members and the House Rules Committee and the Senate Republican Conference, did not enter a plea during an appearance in U.S. District Court on January 12.

CNN’s Bill Mears contributed to this report.

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