New Hampshire lawmaker charged with trying to lure teen for sex

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2016 6:09 PM

By Ted Siefer

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) - A New Hampshire lawmaker was formally charged on Wednesday with drug dealing and attempting to lure a 14-year-old girl for sex.

State Representative Kyle Tasker, who made headlines four years ago when he dropped a loaded .45-caliber handgun he had worn to a public safety hearing, entered no plea at the brief court proceeding.

Prosecutors said the parents of the girl tipped them off that the 30-year-old Republican had been communicating with the child on Facebook. Members of a state task force on internet sex crimes posed as the girl, and when Tasker arranged to meet for sex, they moved in, prosecutors said.

Authorities raided his home in Nottingham, about 25 miles east of the state capitol Concord, on Tuesday, and found an "enormous amount of controlled substances," including psychoactive mushrooms, marijuana and prescription pills, as well as several firearms, prosecutor Stephanie Ilberg-Lamm said at Wednesday's hearing.

"It was apparent from the way they were stored and the volume ... that those controlled and regulated drugs were there for a distribution operation," Ilberg-Lamm said.

A judge ordered Tasker to remain in custody on $250,000 bail.

Tasker's attorney could not be reached for comment.

Tasker has been charged with using a computer service to seduce a minor and possession of controlled drugs with intent to distribute, both felonies. Authorities say additional charges could be brought.

The Republican speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives called on him to resign.

"Representative Tasker is facing serious charges that, if true, are beyond the bounds of human decency," Speaker Shawn Jasper said in a statement.

(Editing by Scott Malone)