Updated 6:03 p.m. ET, 1/28/2014
(CNN) – A newly surfaced letter written by Jesse Ryan Loskarn gives details on why the former U.S. Senate aide killed himself after getting arrested last month for possessing child pornography.
Loskarn, who was found dead Thursday, wrote in the letter that he identified with the images he purchased because he had been sexually abused, himself, as a child.
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"I found myself drawn to videos that matched my own childhood abuse," he 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 did not write about his abuse or say who perpetrated it, but said he only told three friends in his life about what he experienced. He also explained how he got into viewing what he called "defenseless behavior."
"The first time I saw child pornography was during a search for music on a peer-to-peer network," he wrote. "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."
The former Senate aide was serving as chief of staff to Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee when he was arrested on December 11. Loskarn was fired and replaced that same day.
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.
In his letter, which was found after his death and reportedly posted online by his family, Loskarn wrote about how tormented he felt when thinking about sharing his struggles with friends and family. He apologized to the victims who were in the videos, as well as anyone touched by the scandal.
Loskarn acknowledged that most people would find his letter as a "contrived story designed to find some defense for defenseless behavior," but argued "it is the truth, not an excuse."
He also offered a window into why he took his own life.
"The news coverage of my spectacular fall makes it impossible for me to crawl in 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."
Explaining why they posted the letter for public viewing, his family in part defended his reputation, saying the last month of his life was "a media frenzy, with what appeared to be the goal of destroying his reputation beyond repair."
"During this tragic time he had no voice," his family said. "But in his death he can be heard. Our society is quick to judge especially when the topic surrounding his death is so difficult."
CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.