Ex-Star on Capitol Hill Kills Self Amid Child Porn Case

Ryan Loskarn, former chief of staff for Lamar Alexander, is found dead

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 24, 2014 1:30 PM CST

(Newser) – Hard to argue with Sen. Lamar Alexander's statement today: “For everyone involved, this is a sad and tragic story from beginning to end.” He was referring to the suicide of 35-year-old Ryan Loskarn, who had worked as the Tennessee senator's chief of staff until being charged with possessing and distributing child pornography in December. Loskarn's body was found yesterday in his parents' home in Maryland, reports Politico. The state medical examiner ruled it death by hanging, reports the Tennessean.

Loskarn's arrest jarred Washington because he had been considered a fast-rising star among Capitol Hill staffers. His death is likely to draw scrutiny to the judge's decision to release him to the custody of his parents, even though prosecutors said he was a clear suicide risk based on statements he had made around the time of his arrest. Loskarn had to wear an ankle bracelet and stay off the Internet as he waited for the case to proceed.

This Dec. 11, 2013, image provided by WJLA-TV shows Ryan Loskarn, former chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., being escorted from his Washington home by police.
This Dec. 11, 2013, image provided by WJLA-TV shows Ryan Loskarn, former chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., being escorted from his Washington home by police.   (AP Photo/WJLA-TV)
In this 2013 photo, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, leaves the Tennessee House of Representatives chamber with his chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn.
In this 2013 photo, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, leaves the Tennessee House of Representatives chamber with his chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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