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Posted at 12:23 PM ET, 11/25/2010

Congressman's chief fired after Md. sex sting

By Dan Morse

The chief of staff of a New Jersey congressman has been fired after police say he got caught up in an online sex sting in Montgomery County.

Robert Decheine, 48, the ex-chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman, D-NJ, was charged with sexual solicitation of a minor, according to officials with the Gaithersburg Police Department and Rothman's office.

Robert Decheine
Robert Decheine. (Montgomery Police)

The sting involved police posting an advertisement online, followed by communication on the phone and text messaging, police said. Officers pretended to be 15 years old, police said Thursday.

A total of 11 "Johns" were charged with solicitation of a minor, Gaithersburg police said in a statement Tuesday. The suspects ranged in age from 25 to 48 years old, according to police, and were from Washington, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Rothman's office said it learned of Decheine's arrest on Friday.

"Congressman Rothman immediately consulted appropriate House Counsel and terminated Mr. Decheine's employment, effective Nov. 19, 2010, due to the very serious nature of this charge," his office said in a Tuesday statement. "Congressman Rothman considers this alleged criminal act to be shocking, appalling and indefensible."

Decheine was released from the county jail on a $15,000 bond, officials said. Online court records do not say if he has retained an attorney. His phone number in Northeast Washington is unlisted. He couldn't be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

By Dan Morse  | November 25, 2010; 12:23 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse, Montgomery, Politics  
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Comments

typical, the dems molest children and the repubs hand out sex in public bathrooms....pitiful.

Posted by: californicationdude | November 25, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Decheine's a perv. Not surprising that a Democrat would have hired him.

Posted by: rpcv84 | November 25, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey Decheine: Start doing some hiney exercises cause Big Daddy in your jail cell's going to want some...

Posted by: rpcv84 | November 25, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Let me add a simplistic comment to counter the anti-Democrat simplistic comments. If I recall correctly a Republican Senator from WY was caught in a men's bathroom stall demonstrating a "wide stance." And don't forget all those prominent religious figures who have been playing w/little boys and young men.

Posted by: RockvilleBear | November 25, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

And this is news worthy, how...?...why?

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | November 25, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Another sex offender in NE DC. There's go the neighborhood.

What is it with these old guys and kids? It's sick.

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | November 25, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman immediately terminated Mr. Decheine's employment. Sounds like Rep. Rothman doesn't believe in the constitutional requirement of due process.

Posted by: postisarag | November 25, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The libs at the Post neglect to mention that he was senior advisor to the Obama campaign in 2008, according to PolitickerNJ.

http://www.politickernj.com/max/22186/decheine-accepts-role-senior-advisor-obama-campaign

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | November 25, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

His boss told him he would be placed in charge of the Obama re-election effort and there was no way he could escape it. Later that afternoon, Decheine stuck up on online relationship with a police officer posing as a 15 year-old prostitute.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 25, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

This story should not be about politics. It should be about the fact that johns were arrested. Usually, it's only the women (so often, effectively coerced) who are prosecuted. But supply and demand is a 2-way street.

Posted by: Itzajob | November 25, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/crime-scene/fire-safety/boy-15-joins-md-fire-cadet-pro.html

Posted by: bessiefay26 | November 26, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

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