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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 5, 2014

Former Illinois State Rep. Keith Farnham Pleads Guilty To Transporting Child Pornogrphy

CHICAGO — Former Illinois State Rep. KEITH FARNHAM pleaded guilty today to a federal charge of transporting child pornography via computers in his office and residence in Elgin last year.  Farnham resigned his seat in the Illinois General Assembly in March of this year, less than a week after federal agents seized computers from his home and office.

Farnham, 67, of Elgin, remains on restrictive conditions of bond, including home incarceration with electronic monitoring, while awaiting sentencing, which U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang scheduled for March 19, 2015, in Federal Court.

Farnham, who must register as a convicted sex offender, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.  His plea agreement states that the government anticipates a United States Sentencing Guidelines range of at least 151 to 188 months in prison.  Federal inmates must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence and there is no parole in the federal prison system. 

In pleading guilty, Farnham admitted that on Nov. 25, 2013, he sent an email from a computer in his Elgin office with the following message: “do you trade.  This is what I lik.”  Farnham attached two files to the email that he knew contained child pornography.  In addition, he possessed images and videos depicting child pornography on computers and electronic storage devices in his residence, car and offices.

On March 13 of this year, agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed federal search warrants at Farnham’s state office and residence in Elgin and seized computers and electronic storage devices.  On that day, Farnham possessed no fewer than 2,765 images of real minors engaged in sexually explicit acts, including sexual intercourse, with prepubescent children.  Some of the images involved sadistic or masochistic conduct and depictions of violence, according to Farnham’s guilty plea.

According to the court documents, 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.

The guilty plea 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.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Storino and Michelle Petersen.

Plea Agreement

Updated July 27, 2015