A New Hampshire lawmaker is being asked to resign after he was charged with using the Internet to lure a 14-year-old girl for sex.
State Rep. Kyle Tasker, a Republican from Nottingham, is also facing three felony level drug distribution charges, according to Nottingham Police Chief Gunnar Foss.
"If you go after children, we'll be knocking on your door - it's that simple," Foss said.
According to court documents, Tasker knew how young the girl was, telling her, "This is how guys my age get into trouble." During a six-week long investigation in which detectives were posing as the 14-year-old, Tasker allegedly offered drugs, asked for sexual favors, and sent pornographic videos. Police say he even texted the teenager while at State House committee meetings.
"His stature, his place in our society, doesn't matter to me," Foss said. "We did our job."
Foss says Tasker went to Lucas Pond Road Tuesday night to meet who he thought was the child for sex. Instead, he met the officers who arrested him.
A search warrant was issued at his home at 87 Smoke St. on Tuesday night.
"We had done an investigation for practically six weeks," he said. "We had information that he was attempting to contact a 14-year-old girl online, and that kicked in the Internet Crimes Against Children team. They were monitoring a lot of his stuff, and found out through his communications that there was a significant amount of drugs at his home."
Foss said marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and Suboxone were all found in Tasker's home, all separated, labeled and packaged for sale. "It looks like he knew what he was doing." He also had a loaded semi-automatic handgun in his car.
Tasker, 30, is currently serving his third term in the New Hampshire House. He serves as a member of the House Committee on Children and Family Law, which deals with all matters relating to children and youth, their rights, obligations, and protection and the application of criminal laws and sentencing for children.
"The charges against Representative Tasker are troubling and disgusting," New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn said in a statement. "He must resign immediately."
House Speaker Shawn Jasper also called on Tasker to resign, and said he issued a letter on Wednesday morning immediately removing Tasker from his assignment on the House Committee on Children and Family Law. He said only Tasker can decide whether he will resign, but the House does have the ability to remove him.
"Representative Tasker is facing serious charges that, if true, are beyond the bounds of human decency," Jasper said in a statement. "It is clear that given the seriousness of these allegations, Rep Tasker will be unable to represent his constituents effectively and should resign immediately."
"That's grossly unacceptable for anybody, never mind an elected official," said Candia resident Mark Laliberte. "If he has any dignity or respect whatsoever, he probably doesn't after hearing what he did, he would resign his office immediately."
Tasker has long been a controversial figure, generating national headlines for his offensive Facebook posts about domestic violence, black women and mental health.
He was ordered held on $250,000 cash bail at his arraignment Wednesday. The investigation is ongoing and he could face additional charges.
Tasker's attorney has not responded to necn's calls for comment.