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Ex-Rep. confined to home pending child porn trial

Published: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 2:46 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO — A federal judge on Wednesday released a former Illinois state representative on $4,500 bond but ordered him confined to his home pending trial on charges of possessing child pornography.

Keith Farnham, 66, of Elgin also was barred from using computers or having unsupervised contact with anyone under 18. He must wear a monitoring bracelet and the judge ordered Farnham's wife to be his custodian. That requires her to report if he meets the conditions of his release.

Farnham, a Democrat, resigned his seat in March after agents searched his home and state office. He hasn't entered a plea.

A complaint released Monday said Farnham possessed videos depicting child pornography on a computer. The document also provided graphic details about images allegedly sought and traded by Farnham online. Some were allegedly of children under 10 years old.

Farnham previously supported state legislation that aimed to toughen penalties against child pornography owners.

After he resigned last month, Farnham said he had to attend to "battling serious health issues." He appeared at the court hearing with a portable oxygen tank.

His attorney, Terry Ekl, said after the hearing that he hadn't reviewed the case and couldn't discuss evidence. Elk said Farnham needs a lung transplant.

"Between his physical health and these charges, he's having a very difficult time," Ekl said.

Farnham is next due in court May 7.

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