WASHINGTON, D.C. - A former top aide to California Sen. Barbara Boxer was charged this week in federal court with one felony count of receiving and one felony count of distributing child pornography.
The Los Angeles Times reported 32-year-old Jeff Rosato was arrested on the charges Nov. 7. The arrest was made after FBI agents executed a search warrant on his Arlington, Va., home and seized computers and hard drives.
He was fired from his job as counsel to the Environment and Public Works Committee, which is chaired by Boxer, the same day. He had worked for the Democratic senator since 2005.
"On Friday, the Justice Department informed our office of criminal charges made against a Senate employee. Senator Boxer has zero tolerance for crimes against children, and the employee was immediately terminated," Natalie Ravitz, a spokesperson for Boxer, said in a statement released to reporters.
According to court documents, Rosato used Google Hello - a now-defunct program - to share images and movies with what he believed was a 13-year-old boy, but was actually an undercover FBI agent. The charges allege Rosato sent the detective more than 600 files of graphic images between Jan. 2 and Jan. 23, the paper reported.
Rosato appeared in a federal courtroom on Wednesday to answer to the charges, the Times reported, and was released on the condition he not have any interaction with children or use a computer.