A former aide to Sen. Cantwell has been arrested on child sex charges.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A staff member for Sen. Maria Cantwell has been arrested on charges he tried to arrange to have sex with a 13-year-old boy.
James Michael McHaney, 28, was arrested by federal agents Friday in the lobby of a building where they say he thought he would meet a witness cooperating with authorities and have sex with the boy, according to court documents.
A spokesman for Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington, said her office was informed of the arrest Friday afternoon and that McHaney was immediately fired.
"Our office has and will continue to fully cooperate with the ongoing federal criminal investigation," said Michael Meehan, Cantwell's chief of staff. "Sen. Cantwell has zero tolerance for crimes against children."
According to documents filed Nov. 30 in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C., the witness, while being supervised by authorities, sent an online message to McHaney Friday asking if he was interested in having sex with a 13-year-old boy. McHaney said he could take a long lunch break and went to the building where he was arrested and charged with attempted child exploitation, authorities said.
Channing Phillips, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington D.C., said McHaney appeared before a magistrate judge Monday and was ordered held without bond until a preliminary court hearing on Wednesday.