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Senate Aide Arrested in Sex Sting

Associated Press

According to the Associated Press, A former aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell is in federal custody after being arrested on a charge of attempting to sexually exploit a minor.

James Michael McHaney was fired Friday from his job as a scheduler for Cantwell, D-Wash., hours after he was arrested by FBI agents. The FBI said in a charging document that McHaney allegedly tried to set up a meeting with an undercover witness posing online as a teenage boy.

McHaney, who appeared in federal court Saturday, was being held without bond pending a court hearing Wednesday, said Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia.

According to court papers, McHaney, known as Mike, tried to arrange a lunchtime meeting with an unidentified person posing as a 13-year-old boy. When the witness asked whether McHaney was interested in sex with a 13-year-old, McHaney allegedly replied, "I'll be there," the court papers said. He later asked for a photo of the child.

According to other published reports, the Gay Lobby Human Rights Campaign confirmed that McHaney's had worked as an executive scheduler for them from September 2005 to May 2006, but added that his leaving the group had had nothing to do with the reason why he had been arrested.

HRC spokesperson Brad Luna declined to answer questions about the nature of McHaney's departure, citing confidentiality of personnel records.

Before working in for the gay rights group, Mr McHaney had also worked on the presidential campaign of Senator John Kerry in 2004.

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