The fired chief of staff for Tennessee's Sen. Lamar Alexander was ordered to live with his parents in Maryland while he awaits prosecution on charges of possession and attempted distribution of child pornography.
A federal judge allowed Ryan Loskarn to be released from custody Monday after a hearing. Loskarn's lawyers argued that the 35-year-old had no prior convictions or arrests and that he should be freed. Prosecutors opposed the request.
Magistrate Judge John Facciola ordered Loskarn to be electronically monitored and confined to his parents' home. He also isn't allowed access to any device that can connect to the Internet.
Loskarn's brother and sister-in-law also live in his parents home; the family assured the judge that all their electronics were password-protected.
The supervision will last the duration of the case.
The judge said this case shows how easily law enforcement can uncover such activity online.
"I assure you you will be detected," he said.
Loskarn was arrested Wednesday at his southeast D.C. home as a result of a child pornography investigation involving U.S. and Canadian authorities who identified him as a customer of a company that sold DVDs and downloads, which, according to investigators, showed children as young as 5 or 6 years old involved in sexual acts with other minors or adults, News4's Derrick Ward reported.
As investigators were at Loskarn's front door Wednesday, he was seen placing a computer hard drive outside a rear window, according to court documents. Authorities found images of children engaged in sex acts on it.
Loskarn faces up to 10 years on the possession charge and a minimum of five and maximum of 20 years on the distribution charge.
Loskarn had served as chief of staff for Alexander, a Republican, for two years. He was a rising star who had spent the past decade working his way up to increasingly important posts in the U.S. House and then the Senate.
He is accused of possessing child pornography videos, and offering one for distribution on a peer-to-peer network. Court documents say investigators found "films featuring young nude boys" and "digital videos depicting child pornography" in Loskarn's D.C. home, News4's Chris Gordon reported.
Alexander had initially placed Loskarn on unpaid leave after his arrest Wednesday morning, but before the end of the day he had replaced Loskarn with David Cleary, the senator's legislative director.