January 28th, 2014
05:26 PM ET
9 years ago

Senate aide who killed himself left final message

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.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim


    January 28, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. sly

    The majority of rapists, pedophiles and murderers were abused or had messed up deprived childhoods.

    Sad, yes. Jail is full of these messed up people, and that is where they belong. This guy couldn't face that, so he took another route. Same difference.

    January 28, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. lean6

    Ummm...sorry, but his own abuse history only explains but so much. He went so far that he was hosting files on a p-2-p. That's pretty bold. Maybe he did want to get caught. Hopefully we don't find out that he physically assaulted any children.

    January 28, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. BorisRoberts

    So he apologized to the kid in the video. That makes me assume that he did the video. No loss that he is gone. Done give me any "he's a victim BS". If he made that video, he is a predator, and should be dead.

    January 28, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Susan

    Puzzling how some people can overcome terrible acts perpetrated on them in childhood while others cannot. Even more difficult is how to handle forgiveness and deal with/not ignore what are immoral and illegal acts against society. This letter is appreciated and highlights the difficulty in treating, healing, forgiving and yes..punishing our fellow man when required.

    January 28, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. PoBoy

    His family wanted to defend his reputation. Are you kidding me? Who wants to defend the reputation of a pervert?

    January 28, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  7. Carlos

    I'm in no way condoning his actions; however, it is sad the only way this man could explain things and reach out was by killing himself. I fail to see any other way his message would have been disseminated and if not understood, at least heard. He was not given the chance to get help before the media machine ate him alive.

    January 28, 2014 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. Adam

    Yet, 'Merica wants to prevent any form of rehabilitation or help for people with problems like this. This is why the cycle will never end. This is one of many, many truths behind this sadistic behavior

    January 28, 2014 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. mimisangels

    WOW seriously you all have a right to your opinions but at the end of the day you need to remember he has a family who loves him and is missing him. If you are a parent you should understand and if you arent at least have a heart. How about you keep it classy. Prayers to him and his family.

    January 28, 2014 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  10. Jack

    Spare us the sanctimony Boris and anybody else who wants to judge this person. This is a sad situation and what he did was wrong. But guess what, everybody who has ever lived has done things that are wrong and that they'd be humiliated to have the general public discover. RIP.

    January 28, 2014 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Lewis

    There should be random drug tests and investigations on every congressmen every year. It's the only way to expose the corrupt ones.

    January 28, 2014 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. daveyoung

    Yeah – he enjoyed defenseless behavior just like Obama voters love the Yoke.....sick, sick, sick

    January 28, 2014 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. TashaName

    This guy commited a horrible crime no doubt BUT was it neccesary for the media to rip him apart? Like many have already stated, our society is so quick to judge without knowing the truth behind such circumstances. Its crazy how ones way of thinking quickly changes when someone close to you all of a sudden finds themselves in any type of 'criminal' predicament.

    January 28, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. Keith

    It is really too bad that we treat folks so horribly that they want to kill themselves.

    January 28, 2014 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. bat

    true everyone has right to opinion.those that have not been abused, thank whatever deity u beleive in.those of u who were, taking ur life is not an answer.i don't recall it said he made a video or he got off on material.he was confused & seeing reaction he got, judgement was made.i send my condoleces to family & friends for his loss.and for his suffering.what does drug testing have to do with it?

    January 28, 2014 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. WSB

    Yes, most child abusers were abused themselves as children. The US has some of the highest rates of child abuse in the world. What is the US prepared to do about it? Cutting funding to Health and Human Services like what has happened in Texas will not help. The private sector has proven itself unable to take on the load left to it by cuts to government services that protect children. States with highers ratios of spending on services for children and young mothers have far bettter statistics concerning child abuse than Texas and other red states. The numbers don't lie.

    January 28, 2014 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. WoWMadness

    A computer geek since the mid-80's, my first dive into any "Opinion" site. Why? At 3, I was off through the (NE, USA) Foster Home system. I was beaten profusely, broken teeth, sexually tortured, busted lips, deafened in one ear, forced to eat my own dung, locked in closets for days at a time. At 7 I had a total breakdown and was sent to a kid's psych ward and then sent BACK into the Foster Home system for a few more go arounds. Eventually, I was returned to my mother who was a bit violent herself, bloody noses, split lips again. A music teacher molested me. BUT, I am the proud step-father of two great gals who now have kids of their own. I love and babysit them, NEVER even THOUGHT of doing to them what happened to me! I now have a 14 yr old son and NEVER have TOUCHED him in a poor / bad way. NEVER THOUGHT of it. That's total BOGUS EXCUSE to abuse some kid. Lawyers and shrinks LOVE that excuse. It's total kr@p.

    January 28, 2014 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Chris-E...al

    He was a very sick man. this is just another sympton of many .WhEN THEY take God an prayers out of our schools... perbs. guns.failing grades .an bullys unwantd pregnacy. suicide.drugs.goth.lazyness.
    on an on an on. thank ynu.

    January 28, 2014 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. Susan StoHelit

    Most abusers claim to be abused – but since those claims are generally only made AFTER they are caught, as part of a defense to try to get less jail time – I don't buy it a bit – it's an easy defense and impossible to disprove. Most people who were abused know more than anyone how evil it is to do this – most people who were abused would NEVER hurt another as they were hurt.

    January 28, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  20. tet1953

    It doesn't excuse his behavior, not by a longshot, but it does go a long way toward explaining it.

    January 28, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. Everything in Moderation

    Survivors of childhood sexual abuse have a problem they must overcome. They've been exposed to something that, once removed, is a missing piece of their life experience, however horrible. So, yes, they can be drawn to the expression of that as their minds search for meaning in a world where it's taboo to hear their stories. Worse, their bodies were trained to react a certain way to certain triggers.

    What to do?

    Well, the thing they CANNOT do is seek and find material that is exploitive of other children. Not only is it a crime, but it will not help them, only cause more ingrained shame and behaviours. But if people haven't had decent therapy to deal with their trauma, they don't know what to do and when child porn presents itself, many dive into it.

    This man needed to be given counselling as a child. He needed to seek it as an adult. He needed to invest time and tears into unwrapping his pain. It should be mandatory that all children who have been sexually abused MUST complete therapy aimed at working through all the tangles until they can make healthy life choices.

    Becoming a consumer of abuse, or a predator who abuses, is the fault of the adult survivor. He couldn't escape that, and his family can't either. But before anybody goes off on how he's a "monster" et al, consider that the children exploited in the very videos he watched are being shaped in exactly the same image and it will only be luck, some kind of uncommon internal fortitude or a LOT of therapy to prevent them from being the same "monster" people so love to hate.

    January 28, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. Dena

    @Adam "Yet, 'Merica wants to prevent any form of rehabilitation or help for people with problems like this"

    There is no rehabilitation for those people. (Yes, I said it: "those" people.) Pedophiles have one of the highest recidivism rates.

    January 28, 2014 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  23. garwin1

    He wasn't abused as a child. He just made that up.

    January 28, 2014 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |