WASHINGTON - A former aide to U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander who killed himself last week as he awaited trial on child pornography charges wrote in a letter before his death that he "should have known better" than to view the images and said his actions had wounded his family and disappointed his former boss and colleagues.
Ryan Loskarn hanged himself in the basement of his parents' Maryland home, where a judge had permitted him to live under electronic monitoring pending trial.
"The news coverage of my spectacular fall makes it impossible for me to crawl in a hole and disappear," he wrote. "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."
The letter was posted online and described on a website as Loskarn's "last message." Stuart Sears, a lawyer for Loskarn, said Tuesday that the letter had been verified as authentic by Loskarn's family.
Loskarn also revealed in the letter that he had been abused as a child, but did not say by whom or what type of abuse. He said he first began viewing child pornography while searching for music on a peer-to-peer network and, though he did not seek out the images, also did not turn away. He stressed that his abuse as a child was not an excuse for his adult actions.
"In some ways I feel disgusting sharing this truth with you because in my heart I still struggle to see my five-year-old self as a victim. But I'm sharing this with you because it is the truth, not an excuse. And I believe it played a role in my story," he wrote.
Loskarn had been chief of staff for Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, for two years before his arrest last month. Loskarn was fired immediately after his arrest.