Aide to anti-gay Republican congressman arrested for child sex crimes

A staffer to anti-gay Republican Tim Huelskamp has been arrested and charged with child sex crimes.

Matthew Pennell – who is an aide to Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp – was charged with 17 alleged child sex offences, including sexual exploitation of a minor.

He was arrested on Saturday by Dodge City police department, alongside the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, and his bond was set at $75,000 (£50,000).

Tim Heulskamp is one of the most vocally anti-gay Congressmen in the House of Representatives, claiming that Obama wants to “destroy the family and replace it with his view of a radical new social agenda”.

He has regularly addressed listed anti-gay hate groups, including the Family Research Council and the National Organisation for Marriage – and in 2013 attempted to introduce a constitutional amendment to override a court ruling in favour of same-sex marriage.

In a short statement, the congressman’s chief of staff Matt Kelly said: “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.”