Rory A. Koch, charged with 12 counts of possession, is on leave, an official said.
Rory A. Koch, a committee administrator for the Minnesota House Republican caucus, was charged this week in Ramsey County District Court with 12 counts of possession of child pornography.
The charges, detailed in an arrest warrant issued Monday, came after investigators seized two Dell computer towers from his St. Paul apartment in September 2010.
At the time, Koch was a candidate for a seat on the Ramsey County Board, and he went on to receive 25 percent of the vote in an unsuccessful bid to unseat Fourth District incumbent Toni Carter. The child-porn investigation was not public knowledge at the time.
On Wednesday, Jodi Boyne, public affairs director for the House Republican caucus, wrote in an e-mail that Koch, 39, "is on leave from the Minnesota House Republican caucus." He recently served as committee administrator for the Government Operations and Elections Committee, according to the House website.
Koch could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
According to the charges, the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received tips from AOL in June 2009 alleging that someone with the screen name Chadwhite73 "may be disseminating child pornography." Later, AOL identified that account holder as Koch, and on Sept. 20, 2010, investigators searched his apartment on the 1500 block of Grand Avenue.
During an interview with the task force's commander, Koch acknowledged receiving child pornography over the Internet but claimed to have tried to delete it when he received it, the charges say. An image of a teenage male in a sexual pose was pulled up on a computer in his presence.
On Oct. 25, 2011, a task force investigator received a compact disc of images taken from Koch's computer that depicted known victims of child pornography, the complaint said.
Dennis Gerhardstein, spokesman for the county attorney's office, said on Wednesday that the case was presented to the office in January for consideration of charges.
The arrest warrant sets Koch's bail at $10,000 and states that he is to have no contact with minors.