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State

Former Illinois lawmaker faces child porn charges

CHICAGO – An Illinois state representative who resigned his seat in March has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with possession of child pornography, the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago announced on Monday.

Keith Farnham, a 66-year-old Democrat from Elgin, is accused of possessing at least two videos depicting child pornography on a computer – labeled "Property of the State of Illinois House of Representatives" – seized from his state office, the complaint says.

The complaint contains graphic details about pornographic images and videos allegedly traded and sought by Farnham; some of the images were of children under 10 years old and at least one is an infant, the filing says.

Telephone messages left for Farnham on a telephone voice mail Monday were not returned. He has not been arrested but is scheduled to make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Wednesday.

Several computers and electronic storage devices with child pornography were discovered in searches on March 13 at Farham's office and home in Elgin, just west of Chicago.

Farnham, who was first elected in 2008, resigned his seat on March 19 – days after the search warrants were executed. He said at the time that he had to attend to "battling serious health issues."

Suspicion fell on Farnham after authorities linked an email used to trade child pornography online to the then-legislator, the complaint said. The complaint includes transcripts of graphic instant messages connected to the same email.

A note in one Sept. 23, 2013, email tied to Farnham appears to ask if the other party is willing to trade child pornography, adding, "Always looking for good stuff."

A conviction on a single count of possession of child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

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