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Press Release

Jury Convicts Former Sheriff’s Deputy of Child Pornography Possession

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – A jury today voted to convict Peter W. Farnum, age 41, of Clifton Park, New York, of possessing child pornography, following a 2-week trial.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Janelle M. Miller, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The evidence at trial established that Farnum, a former sergeant with the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, possessed more than 1,000 image and video files on his family computer that contained child pornography.  These included, among many others, image files that Farnum imported through the computer’s RealPlayer application while he conducted online research related to his position with the Sheriff’s Office and while his wife was in the hospital.

Following the verdict, Senior United States District Judge Norman A. Mordue remanded Farnum to custody pending sentencing on a date to be determined. Farnum faces up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors. Farnum will also have to register as a sex offender. 

This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.   The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph A. Giovannetti.

This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood.  Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and is designed to marshal federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated June 5, 2018

Project Safe Childhood