Matthew Pennell (above), a staffer for Representative Tim Huelskamp (R-Fowler) was arrested last Friday and charged with 17 counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
Television station KWCH reported that Pennell was arrested following an investigation by the Dodge City police department and members of the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
His bond is set at $75,000.
Pennell was listed as a constituent services representative for Huelskamp and started working for Huelskamp in June of 2014, according to his Facebook profile.
After his arrest, Huelskamp’s chief of staff, Mark Kelly, provided this statement:
“Upon learning of his arrest, the Office immediately placed Mr. Pennell on Leave Without Pay until further notice. Because this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide further comment at this time.”
Shortly after Kelly issued this statement, Pennell was fired from Huelskamp’s office.
Rep. Huelskamp’s campaign and election were endorsed by the Family Research Council for his efforts to block gay marriage, civil unions as well other protections for LGBT persons.
In June 2013, after the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Huelskamp accused the justices of “degrading and demeaning” Jesus Christ and questioning whether or not they could even “pass law school”.
He has been identified by several LGBT groups as the most “anti-gay” representative in Congress.
Huelskamp was featured in a film by Janet Porter entitled “Light Wins: How To Overcome The Criminalization Of Christianity” warning that gay activists are seeking to to turn Christians into criminals (and that gays are perverts).