When former Capitol Hill staffer Jesse Ryan Loskarn appears before a federal magistrate judge on Dec. 16 for a detention hearing related to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, the 35-year-old will have a beefy legal team arguing his defense.
In the 24 hours between his arrest and his Thursday court appearance, Loskarn hired Pamela Stever Satterfield and Stuart A. Sears of D.C.-based law firm Schertler & Onorato to represent him. The firm earned a “first-tier” ranking in criminal defense this year from Best Law Firms, a joint publication of U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers.
Loskarn, formerly chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., was arrested Wednesday after federal investigators swept his Southeast D.C. home, recovering a hard drive containing “hundreds of videos depicting underage boys engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” according to a criminal complaint.
Both lawyers appeared before a federal magistrate judge with Loskarn, who faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
Satterfield was recently recognized by Washingtonian magazine as one of the best lawyers in the District for non-white-collar criminal defense. She has more than 20 years of experience before D.C.’s Superior Court and federal courts across the country, according to a profile on the firm’s website. She also worked for the criminal division of the Department of Justice. From 1994 to 2003, she was an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District, serving as deputy chief of the sex offense and domestic violence section and prosecuting adult criminal cases involving sexual abuse and child maltreatment.
Sears has advised numerous clients during government investigations, including targets and subjects of grand jury proceedings, according to his biography.
The case against Loskarn stems from an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Toronto Police Service into a movie production company that sold films featuring young nude boys. Loskarn allegedly made several purchases from the company’s website.
Alexander replaced Loskarn on Wednesday, shortly after learning of the arrest.
In a Thursday statement, he called the information in the complaint “repugnant and disturbing.”
Satterfield and Sears had no comment on the case for CQ Roll Call as they left the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse on Thursday.
Loskarn remains under the custody of U.S. Marshals until the Monday hearing.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.