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Former Obama campaign advisor arrested for soliciting sex from minor

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Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ) fired his chief of staff Robert Decheine Tuesday after his arrest last week on a charge of soliciting sex from a minor.

Forty-eight-year old Decheine, who was a senior adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, was arrested in Gaithersburg, Maryland last Friday during a police sting.

He was released after posting a $15,000 bond.

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The Gaithersburg Police Department said it caught eleven people in a sting targeting people interested in sex with minors.

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All eleven suspects were charged with a felony count of sexual solicitation of a minor and face ten years in prison or a fine of $25,000 if convicted.

The Gaithersburg police placed ads on a website while an undercover officer communicated through phone and text messages with “johns” who responded to the ad.

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“During the communication, an exchange of services or expectations was made,” a police news release said.

“Congressman Rothman considers this alleged criminal act to be shocking, appalling and indefensible,” Aaron Keyak, a spokesman for Rep. Rothman, said. “As a parent, he understands the vital importance of protecting our children from predators.”

Rothman said his staff will cooperate with investigators.

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Decheine ran Rothman’s Washington and New Jersey offices since 2003. He also advised Rothman during his election campaign.

Decheine had previously worked for Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), according to The Record newspaper.

Decheine told the newspaper he had no comment.

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