Former Illinois State Rep. Keith Farnham Charged With Possession Of Child Pornogrphy
CHICAGO ― Former Illinois State Rep. KEITH FARNHAM was charged today with possession of child pornography in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Farnham allegedly possessed two videos depicting child pornography on a computer that was seized from his state office in Elgin in March.
Farnham, 66, of Elgin, was not arrested and no date has been set yet for him to appear voluntarily for an initial appearance in Federal Court.
On March 13, agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed a federal search warrant at Farnham’s office and residence in Elgin. Several computers and electronic storage devices were recovered that contained child pornography images, including the two charged videos, according to the complaint affidavit. The office computer that contained the videos was labeled “PROPERTY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.”
Farnham resigned his seat in the Illinois General Assembly on March 19.
According to the complaint, HSI agents were investigating information received from the HSI Cyber Crimes Center that an email address, later linked to Farnham, was being used to trade child pornography on the Internet. After agents linked the email account to Farnham they obtained and reviewed instant message chats that occurred between last June and January this year. Excerpts of those chats are detailed in the affidavit.
Possession of child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The complaint was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Gary Hartwig, Special Agent-in-Charge of HSI in Chicago
A complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.