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In His Own Words: Loskarn Letter Reflects on Arrest, Painful Memories

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

The late Capitol Hill staffer Jesse Ryan Loskarn wrote a letter before his death apologizing for the hurt he caused with his arrest on child pornography charges and revealing that he was sexually abused as a 5-year-old.

In a 1,085-word narrative posted online as Loskarnís ďlast message,Ē the 35-year-old acknowledges that he broke the trust of his former boss, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and his friends and Capitol Hill colleagues. He also appears to have been plotting his Jan. 23 suicide since the day of his Dec. 11 arrest.

Loskarnís letter follows:

ďOn December 11, 2013, I was arrested for possession of child pornography. Writing those few words took a long time; seeing them in print is agony. But I owe many, many people an explanation ó if thatís even possible ó and thatís why Iíve written this letter.

The news coverage of my spectacular fall makes it impossible for me to crawl in a hole and disappear. Iíve hurt every single human being Iíve ever known and the details of my shame are preserved on the internet for all time. There is no escape.

My family has been wounded beyond description. My former boss and colleagues had their trust broken and their names dragged through the mud for no reason other than association. Friendsí question whether they ever really knew me.

Everyone wants to know why.

Iíve asked God. Iíve asked myself. Iíve talked with clergy and counselors and psychiatrists. I spent five days on suicide watch in the psychiatric ward at the D.C. jail, fixated on the ďwhyĒ and ďhowĒ questions: why did I do this and how can I kill myself? Iíve shared the most private details of my life with others in the effort to find an answer. There seem to be many answers and none at all.

The first time I saw child pornography was during a search for music on a peer-to-peer network. I wasnít seeking it but I didnít turn away when I saw it. Until that moment, the only place Iíd seen these sorts of images was in my mind.

I found myself drawn to videos that matched my own childhood abuse. Itís 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.

This is my deepest, darkest secret.

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