Ryan Loskarn leaves letter - John Bresnahan - POLITICO.com

Loskarn was arrested by federal agents on Dec. 11. | Courtesy


Jesse Ryan Loskarn, the former top Senate GOP aide who committed suicide last week, said in a letter released by his family that he was sexually abused as a child, and the horror from that episode eventually led him down a path toward possessing child pornography.

In a typed letter just over two pages long and posted online by his mother late Monday night, Loskarn revealed in vivid detail his personal experiences and apologized profusely for possessing child pornography, which led to his arrest by federal agents on Dec. 11.

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Until the raid on his Capitol Hill home by U.S. Postal Service investigators, Loskarn was a well-liked and respected chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). He was a former leadership aide with a solid reputation and numerous friends on both sides of the aisle.

(Earlier on POLITICO: Ryan Loskarn believed to have committed suicide)

That all changed in one day, however. Loskarn was fired by Alexander the day he was arrested. He was placed on suicide watch in jail, and he was only released after his lawyers convinced a federal judge that he was not going to take his own life.

In the Jan. 23 letter, Loskarn said he planned to kill himself immediately after his arrest, claiming that the “news coverage of my spectacular fall makes it impossible for me to crawl into a hole and disappear. 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.”

The 35-year-old Loskarn hanged himself last Thursday in his parents’ home in Sykesville, Md.

POLITICO obtained the letter on Monday afternoon but planned to delay publishing a story until Tuesday in an effort to find out more regarding the circumstances surrounding it. POLITICO contacted Loskarn’s family, but they did not comment.

Gay Loskarn, Loskarn’s mother, posted the letter online late Monday evening, offering some thoughts on her son’s situation.

In her post, Ms. Loskarn complained about the “media frenzy” surrounding her son’s arrest in December.

(Earlier on POLITICO: Lamar Alexander top aide Ryan Loskarn arrested on child porn charges)

“The last month of Jesse Ryan Loskarn’s life was surrounded by a media frenzy, with what appeared to be the goal of destroying his reputation beyond repair,” Mrs. Loskarn said. “Newspapers and other media outlets depicted him mostly in a negative light and stole away any good he had done during his short but full life.”

Mrs. Loskarn added: “During this tragic time he had no voice, but in his death he can be heard. Our society is quick to judge especially when the topic surrounding his death is so difficult. This letter written by Jesse Ryan Loskarn was found after he took his own life on January 23, 2014. If his words can help just one person who is suffering in silence, it will be his greatest accomplishment.”

In his letter, Loskarn said he first stumbled across 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. Until that moment, the only place I’d seen these sorts of images was in my mind.”

According to Loskarn, the incident struck a deep emotional chord since he had been sexually abused as a child. He didn’t give any details about that abuse.

“I found myself drawn to videos that matched my own childhood abuse,” Loskarn wrote. “It’s painful and humiliating to admit to myself, let alone the whole world, 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 added: “This is my deepest, darkest secret.”

(PHOTOS: Lamar Alexander’s top aide investigated for child porn)

According to a federal complaint against Loskarn, he made “several purchases” from November 2010 to March 2011 from a Toronto-based movie production company operating a website that offered DVDs via mail and streaming video. Court documents said “the majority of these films featured young nude boys.”